Plans for a reservoir comparable to the size of Abingdon, have been blown out the water by councillors who say it would be "disruptive".

The Vale of White Horse District Council have opposed the plans for a water saving reservoir, over its potential disruptiveness and impact on local wildlife.

The district council put forward a motion to not support and request more robust assessment for the climate impact of the reservoir. However, because this is a national infrastructure scheme, the council’s objections will not prevent the reservoir from being built.

A consultation has been launched by Water Resources South East (WRSE) for its regional plan, which sets out action that could be needed to avoid a potential one billion litre per day shortfall in water supplies within the next 15 years.

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.

Read also: Driver crashes car down a ditch near Tesco's in Abingdon

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

Emily Smith, Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council said: "The new proposal for a structure the size of Abingdon and that will take at least 10 years to build, is likely to be very disruptive for residents and local businesses. At our last council meeting we agreed that more independent research was needed to find options that were potentially cheaper, less disruptive and have less impact on the environment. Councillors agreed that a 'carbon calculation' is required to assess the impact on the district to meet agreed carbon reduction targets."

She added: "Having seen the WRSE consultation documents I personally have serious concerns about the impact of this huge reservoir on our community, local economy and wildlife. I hope that the water consortium and the government will put more emphasis on leak reduction and other identified solutions to secure the wider region's water supply."

Read also: Oxfordshire GP goes viral on Twitter after sharing Covidlockdown story

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.”

Thames water estimates that the reservoir would take around eight years to build.

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 like water sports, angling, cycling and walking, 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