Thank you for your views on new reservoir

Portsmouth Water is thanking the hundreds of people who have had their say on its £120 million proposals for a new reservoir in Hampshire.

The Havant Thicket Reservoir scheme would protect the county’s world-famous chalk streams, secure future water supplies for the South East of England and provide a new green leisure facility to benefit local communities and wildlife in the Havant area.

Given the need to keep everyone safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Portsmouth Water worked in innovative new ways to reach out to people and enable them to give their feedback – for example, by holding a series of webinars and creating a virtual exhibition for people to visit online.

Bob Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at Portsmouth Water, said: “It’s great that we’ve received a large amount of feedback on our proposals, more than 1,600 consultation responses in total. We worked hard to make it easy for people to learn more about what we want to deliver and have their say during our consultation, whether that was online, by phone or post. So, we would like to say a big ‘ Thank you’ to everyone who took the time to give their views.”

“What people have told us will help shape the planning applications we will submit to Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council later this year. We heard views across a variety of different topics, including lots of support for the community facilities we’re proposing, in particular, the new wetland we want to create.”

Mr Taylor continued: “We also had helpful comments on the options for the reservoir access road, the route for the reservoir pipeline that’s needed, the existing woodland on the site and our extensive plans for delivering an overall benefit to the environment. For example, we’re committed to replanting and improving at least 110 hectares of woodland to create new and enhanced habitat – both on and around the reservoir site and further afield.”

“We are now analysing all the views we’ve had in and we will be publishing a ‘You said, we did’ consultation report in August. This will set out a summary of all the feedback we’ve heard and how we’re responding to it.”

The consultation highlights include:

  • The dedicated Havant Thicket Reservoir Facebook page had over 102,000 page views via the 25 consultation posts that were published
  • The collection of consultation videos, covering a range of topics, were viewed more than 9,700 times via Facebook, YouTube and the dedicated consultation website, which itself had just under 4,200 visits
  • Six public consultation webinars were held, with a total of 156 people taking part and putting their questions and comments directly to Portsmouth Water’s panel of experts – the recordings of the webinars have been watched over 200 times too
  • 1,350 printed copies of the consultation brochure and feedback form were sent out to people living in the area around the proposed reservoir site and those from further afield who took up the offer to provide a hard copy of the brochure and form on request.

Havant Thicket Reservoir is earmarked for a 160-hectare site (between Staunton Country Park and Havant Thicket, in Havant), which is owned by Portsmouth Water.

At 1.6km from east to west and 0.8km from north to south, it will hold approximately 8.7 billion litres of water and will able to supply up to 21 million litres of water each day.

It would be filled in the winter from surplus water pumped from the prolific Bedhampton springs in Havant. The reservoir is included in the local planning authorities’ local plans and Portsmouth Water is working in partnership with neighbouring Staunton Country Park, Hampshire County Council and Forestry England as it develops the plans.