Planning applications have been submitted for Portsmouth Water’s Havant Thicket reservoir, the first reservoir to be built in the UK in 30 years and a key piece of infrastructure to secure reliable water supplies for the south east.
Atkins was commissioned to design and secure planning consent for the proposed reservoir and pipeline, as well as a new recreational facility which will include a visitor centre, a network of paths for walkers, runners, cyclists and horse-riders and a large wetland habitat on the reservoir’s northern edge, to provide a haven for endangered birds and other protected species.
The design of the reservoir has been environmentally led and has sought to integrate operational and visitor facilities within the landscape to provide an attractive setting for the scheme, minimise its visual and environmental impact and maintain the rural character of the site.
Two successful public consultation events were held prior to submitting the planning application, one of which was a digital consultation during the first Covid-19 lockdown, involving online consultation via a bespoke website, public webinars, videos with specialists, an interactive brochure and a Facebook page.
A decision on planning is expected in spring 2021, with site enabling work expected to commence soon after. If approved, Havant Thicket reservoir will be fully open to the public in 2029.