Controversial plans for a huge ‘water saving’ reservoir have been called “disastrous” by villagers.

The proposed Abingdon reservoir, which would cover farmland between Steventon, East Hanney and Drayton, could help provide more than 100 million litres of water each day.

The reservoir will provide water for the Thames Valley, London, and the wider South East and it could have a surface area of 6.7km2.

The plans have now gone to public consultation.

The resurgence of the controversial plan follows calls for more reservoirs by the water regulator Ofwat, as part of efforts to address climate change and to challenge looming water shortages.

However, many councillors and people who live near the location of the proposed reservoir feel there are better ways to deal with water shortages.

The County Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council have voted to oppose the reservoir plans.

Read also: Consultation launched for huge reservoir in Abingdon

County Councillor Sally Povolotsky objects to the reservoir plans. She said: “Why don’t we think radically? Why don’t Thames Water Fix their leaks? How is it more environmentally sustainable to destroy landscapes, with years of disruption and pollution to create a potentially massive community flood risk, when just fixing their leaks solves the water resource issue?”

Herald Series: Area proposed for Abingdon reservoir Area proposed for Abingdon reservoir

Campaigners from Group Against Abingdon Reservoir have been opposing the plans for a reservoir in Abingdon since 1996, when plans were first revealed.

Derek Stork from GARD: “We do not feel the damage, the disruption and the destruction of this environment is any better justified than it ever was. We should be opposing the consultation on that basis.”

He added: “Locally the objections are that it will be disastrous for the area. It will be 10 years of construction and once it is built it will become a very prominent eyesore and overshadow the local houses.”

Read also: January full moon: check out pictures from Oxfordshire

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We recognise there are local concerns about the potential development of a new reservoir, and want to continue our ongoing dialogue with stakeholders including councillors, MPs and the wider community to address these; alongside discussing the long term benefits a new development could bring including job and skill creation, recreational opportunities and improved biodiversity and flood defences to the local community.”

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok

Got a story for us? Send us your news and pictures here

List an event for free on our website here