Plans for 8.7bn litre reservoir given green light in Hampshire

100621-havant thicket reservoir-credit portsmouth water
Havant Thicket Reservoir Credit: Portsmouth Water

The first major new reservoir in the UK will be built in Hampshire.

Havant Thicket Reservoir was approved by Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council following hours of debate on Wednesday night (9 June).

The reservoir will protect the Itchen and Test rivers and span 160 hectares.

The plan, submitted by Portsmouth Water includes a visitor and education centre, picnic and play area, along with parking facilities for approximately 200 vehicles.

What the Havant Thicket Reservoir could look like. Credit: Portsmouth Water

During meetings over the proposed reservoir, concerns were raised by The Woodland Trust, Havant Climate Alliance, Friends of the Earth and local residents about the removal of ancient woodland.

Portsmouth Water argued that the reservoir, once complete, would create a permanent wetland with bird watching facilities.

Planning Portfolio Lead at East Hampshire District Council, Councillor Angela Glass, said “The reservoir will secure more reliable water supplies for the region as a whole.

"It will also help cater for a growth in the population and housing and more droughts as a result of climate change.”

Portsmouth Water chief executive Bob Taylor said: “I would like to thank the councils for their support on this vitally important scheme and we’re also very grateful to local people and community representatives for their strong backing and valuable feedback over a number of years, which have helped shape the plans and our approach in many areas.”Full planning permission should be granted by the summer, and would be operational by 2029.