Plans for Havant Thicket Reservoir in between Rowlands Castle, East Hampshire and Leigh Park in Havant, have been given the green light
The reservoir will span 160-hectares and will deliver 8.7 billion litres of storage.
The detailed planning application for Havant Thicket Reservoir, along with a separate one for the pipeline which is needed to fill and remove water to supply to customers, was considered and granted permission following hours of debate by councillors at East Hampshire District Council and Havant Borough Council.
The reservoir is a collaboration between Portsmouth Water and Southern Water and will safeguard water resources for years to come for the South East.
The plans include a reservoir, together with a visitor and education centre, picnic, a play area, and parking facilities.
Havant Thicket Reservoir, once complete, will create a permanent wetland with bird watching facilities.
‘Much-needed future water supplies’
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.”
Councillor Clare Satchwell, cabinet lead for planning, Hayling seafront strategy and coastal management at Havant Borough Council, commented: “This major project has been talked about in the borough since the 1960s and after a comprehensive report and presentation at Havant’s planning committee on 3 June, the committee considered the applications for Havant Thicket Reservoir and gave permission, subject to completion of a section 106 legal agreement.”
Portsmouth Water chief executive, Bob Taylor, added: “It is great news that both Havant Borough and East Hampshire District’s planning committees have resolved to grant permission for our reservoir proposals – recognising the growing public need for reliable and resilient water resources and our ambitions and commitment to support the environment and communities.
“As well as securing much-needed future water supplies, Havant Thicket Reservoir will help safeguard the River Itchen and River Test, two of Hampshire’s rare and world-famous chalk streams, by enabling less water to be taken from them. It will also create a new green leisure hub for people and wildlife.
“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.”
Final legal commitments for the Havant Thicket Reservoir scheme will now be agreed with both authorities and full permission could be granted by early summer.
The reservoir could then open fully to the public in 2029.