Havant Borough Council supports Havant Thicket Reservoir project

Havant Borough Council has resolved to grant planning permission for a new reservoir in Havant to secure vital and reliable water supplies for the future.

The proposals by Portsmouth Water to develop Havant Thicket Reservoir were discussed at a public meeting of the local authority’s planning committee on June 3, after which councillors resolved to give the green light to the environmental project, recognising the public need for resilient water in the years ahead.

Havant Borough Council also resolved to grant permission for a pipeline to fill the reservoir with surplus water from the Bedhampton Springs in winter and to draw the water off to be treated and supplied to customers.

The resolutions by Havant Borough Council are the first step in the planning process for the reservoir. The planning application for the reservoir also needs to be considered by East Hampshire District Council, as half the proposed reservoir site sits within its boundaries. This is expected to happen next month.

If approved, final legal commitments for the reservoir scheme would be agreed with the local authorities and full permission could be granted by early summer.

Bob Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Portsmouth Water, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to receive the support of Havant Borough Council to progress plans for the reservoir, which will secure much-needed water supplies for the region and, in particular, protect two of Hampshire’s rare chalk streams, the River Itchen and River Test.

“Our plans also include the creation and improvement of up to 180 hectares of woodland and pasture to support wildlife and a unique opportunity to create a 10-hectare wetland on the north of the reservoir to benefit threatened bird species.

“It’s also very important to us, as a community-focused company, to maximise the site’s potential to bring wider benefits for local people, particularly for accessible leisure, education, sharing skills, creating jobs and supporting the economy.

“I’d like to thank all our customers and partners who have engaged with us over many years to develop our plans as they stand today – it has been a long journey to this point.”