Council calls for public inquiry on Thames Water’s Oxfordshire reservoir plan

Residents’ interests come first - that was the resolute message from Oxfordshire County Council as its cabinet called for a public inquiry on Thames Water’s plans for a new reservoir, today.

The council has concerns about the size and need for the proposed reservoir to the southwest of Abingdon, between Steventon, East Hanney and Marcham. It is also concerned about the length of time Thames Water has set itself to reduce leakages.

Further clarity required

Further clarity is sought from Thames Water on whether other potential sites have been fully assessed across the southeast region. Only when these details are provided in the form of a regional water resource plan for the south east, will the council be able to decide on whether to back the principle of having a reservoir at this location.

This is the second consultation held by Thames Water – the county council and others demanded earlier this year that a further consultation should take place and Thames Water agreed to this in the Summer.

Oxfordshire County Council had already responded to the first consultation outlining a list of concerns. Thames Water made a number of changes prior to the second consultation, including making commitments to reducing pipe leakage as requested by the county council.