Council still concerned following second consultation on reservoir

Oxford County Council offices Credit: ITV Meridan

Concerns have been raised by Oxford County Council following plans by Thames Water to build a new reservoir.

The local authority has said it wants clarity about the need and size of the reservoir before it will back the plans.

Currently, the plans are to build it on the southwest of Abingdon, between Steventon, East Hanney and Marcham - equivalent to twice the size of Heathrow Airport.

It's also seeking clarity from the water board on whether other potential sites have been fully assessed across the southeast region.

Only when these details are provided, will the council be able to decide on whether to back the plans to have the reservoir on the suggested 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.

Following the response from the council after the first consultation, Thames Water made a number of changes, including making commitments to reducing pipe leakage.

Thames Water says the reservoir is needed to meet demand but campaigners claim it would be a blight on the countryside. The council says the interests of residents must come first.

A report to the council's cabinet on November 20 sets out these concerns in full.