Consultation on Havant Thicket Reservoir opens

A month-long public consultation on building a new reservoir in Hampshire gets underway next week (Monday, 11 May).

Portsmouth Water is keen to hear feedback from as many people as possible on its proposals for Havant Thicket Reservoir near Havant. The scheme is being delivered in collaboration with Southern Water to safeguard future water supplies for the South East, which is seriously water stressed.

The project would benefit local communities and wildlife by providing a new community and green leisure space. It would also help protect environmentally sensitive chalk streams in Hampshire – the rivers Test and Itchen – because less water will need to be taken from them to supply drinking water.

A planning application for the new reservoir is due to be submitted later this year and all the feedback gathered during the consultation will help shape Portsmouth Water’s final proposals.

Bob Taylor, Portsmouth Water’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’ve thought carefully about going ahead with the consultation at this time. However, given the pressing need to secure vital water supplies for the South East and to take timely action to protect our precious chalk streams, we felt it was important to do so. In fact, the COVID-19 situation has challenged us to be even more innovative and imaginative in the ways we bring our plans and the consultation alive to people at home, so we can reach as many of you as possible.

“We’re doing this by using modern technology to create a ‘virtual exhibition’ with videos, web-based comment boards and interactive mock-ups of the reservoir, as well as running live webinars with our project team. With this approach, we hope even more people will get involved and we’re also creating surveys and packs for pupils to reach out to our younger community while they’re studying at home.

“Our approach is supported by the local planning authorities and we’re also making sure people who are not online can contact us through traditional channels. We’ve produced a printed brochure and have a dedicated phone number to make sure everyone who wants to have a say can be heard. I would really encourage everyone to take part and help us shape this great community and wildlife facility.”

The updated proposals for Havant Thicket Reservoir will be live online from 11 May at This will include information on the reservoir’s design, a visitor centre, options for an access road and a new pipeline to enable the reservoir to be filled and emptied. Two access roads are being considered for the reservoir now – one from the north off the B2149 and one from the south off Swanmore Road, in Leigh Park. A slightly alternative route for the pipeline is being shared too.

There will also be details on Portsmouth Water’s plans to enhance the environment and support wildlife through the scheme.

A printed version of the brochure and a feedback form will be sent, on request, to anyone who does not have access to the website – please call 02392 449084 and leave a message, or write to Havant Thicket Reservoir consultation, Portsmouth Water, PO Box 99, West Street, Havant, PO9 1LG.

The consultation webinars, which people can sign up for via the reservoir webpages, will include video briefings followed by question and answer sessions with the project team. The dates and times for the sessions are as follows:

Saturday 16 May 2pm-4pm
Tuesday 19 May 10am-12pm
Friday 22 May 10am-12pm
Wednesday 3 June 2pm-4pm
Thursday 4 June 6pm-8pm