Work set to begin on Havant Thicket Reservoir

Work is set to begin on Havant Thicket Reservoir this September, subject to Portsmouth Water receiving final permission to start the project.

Following many years of planning and research, Portsmouth Water is ready to start preparatory work on site as soon as final permission has been granted. This is expected to happen in September, with work commencing straight away.

The first stage of work is planned to take place in the autumn in order to avoid the bird nesting season, allowing contractors to carry out the required tasks in as environmentally a sensitive way as possible.

Initial work will involve installing a small site compound near to the Swanmore Road entrance. This is planned to start from 13th September, subject to the formal granting of planning permission.

Work to clear the site is then expected to begin at the end of September. Due to environmental and seasonal constraints, the tree harvesting activities will need to be completed by the end of October.

Significant measures will be taken to ensure wildlife is not harmed and that animals are not present during construction works.

This includes sending specialist climbers up individual trees to ensure they are free of wildlife.

Ecologists will be on site when the clearance work takes place and only ecologists with appropriate licences will be involved, all work in line with protected licences from Natural England.

For health and safety reasons, areas of the site will be closed to the public during this time.

Public footpaths and bridleways will remain open where it is safe to do so. Some diversions will be in place in order to avoid areas where work is being carried out.

Signs will be in place to make clear which areas are off limits and anyone visiting the site is advised to keep to the designated paths and read the signs carefully.

Plans for removing the harvested timber from site are currently being finalised and Portsmouth Water will be updating residents as soon as possible.

Bob Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Portsmouth Water, said: “This will be a landmark moment for the Havant Thicket Reservoir project. Many years of planning and a great deal of research has gone into this project and I am delighted that work should soon be underway.

“I do appreciate that there is likely to be some noise and disruption to local communities during this time and I would like to thank residents in advance for your patience. We are taking every measure possible to minimise disruption. We will also make sure that local roadways are checked regularly for dirt and debris and are cleaned promptly, as required.

“If you have any comments or concerns about the scheme, I invite you to get in touch. We are always open to ideas and suggestions and would be very pleased to hear from you.”

Havant Thicket Reservoir is an environmentally-led scheme which will provide a sustainable source of water for the South East and help to safeguard world-renowned chalk streams in Hampshire.

Portsmouth Water has developed an extensive environmental mitigation and compensation package, working with the Environment Agency, Natural England, the county council’s ecologist and the Forestry Commission, which they support.

This will include planting and improving over 200 hectares of woodland and wood pasture, locating wildlife corridors around the perimeter of the site, creating a new wetland on the northern shore to support threatened bird species, improving local streams and launching a grant scheme to support environmental projects.

For more information about Havant Thicket Reservoir, please visit:

A list of frequently asked questions is available here: (to be updated with the new Q&As)

Anyone with questions or concerns about the project not answered on the website can contact Portsmouth Water directly on: 023 9249 9888 or emailing us at: [email protected].