Anglian Water - Fens Reservoir
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Update – 22-december-2022

Consultation attracts strong public engagement

Local people and organisations have had their say on a proposal for a new reservoir in the Fens. Hundreds of pieces of feedback were submitted to Anglian Water and Cambridge Water ahead of the closure of a consultation on the proposal on 21 December.

The first of three phases of consultation on the reservoir saw the water companies asking for people’s views and insight on its proposed site as well as the features they’d like to see.

With the consultation now closed, the project team will be shaping more detail around the design of the reservoir as all the feedback is considered.

The proposed reservoir, north of Chatteris and near the villages of Doddington and Wimblington, could supply enough water for a quarter of a million homes. The project is part of plans to ensure there is sufficient water supply in response to a changing climate and population growth. It would also see less water taken from sensitive sources, helping to protect and restore the environment.

Local feedback has focussed on the need to think carefully on the potential effects on place and communities, roads and transport, agriculture and the local economy, as well as the natural environment.

People have also shown a positive interest in the opportunities the reservoir could bring, and the exciting potential to see new areas for recreation, wildlife, and places to get out and explore.

So that everyone can see the key themes and issues raised during the consultation, the project team will publish a summary of the feedback, which will be available in spring 2023.

This will help the project to take an important step forward, as its design is developed further to provide a clearer picture of what it may offer.

Dr Geoff Darch, Water Resources Strategy Manager for Anglian Water, said:

"We’ve received really valuable feedback from local people and stakeholders and want to thank everyone for taking part in the consultation.

"Although it’s too early to know exactly how we’ll respond to all the feedback, your comments are a key part of developing the reservoir. They help us to keep impacts as low as possible, while maximising benefits for people and nature.

"We know it’s very important for us to consider the effects of our plans on those impacted by our proposal including homeowners, landowners and nearby communities. We’ll be continuing to engage closely with everyone as our proposal develops.

"It was great to hear such enthusiasm for the exciting opportunities the reservoir could bring such as footpaths, cyclepaths, and water sport activities.

"We’re in the process of developing a design for the reservoir. Many people have told us they’re keen to get a better understanding of what the reservoir could look like, and the feedback we’ve received will help us to achieve this.

"As part of this design work, we’ll also be refining potential locations for the equipment we need, such as water treatment works and pumping stations, and building on our early thinking on opportunities for recreation and wildlife.

"We’ll also be developing our plans for getting water to the reservoir, and then from the reservoir to homes and businesses across Cambridge and our wider region.

"People will get another opportunity to have their say on the proposal in the next consultation in 2024, when we’ll be sharing all this work."

Natalie Akroyd, Head of Water Strategy and Environment for Cambridge Water, said:

*"We’re really keen to see the feedback from the consultation. The new reservoir will have a huge impact both as a new supply of water, which will protect our precious chalk streams by reducing the abstraction from the aquifer, but also as a new habitat for wildlife and a new leisure resource.

"We need to know how our plans will impact homeowners, landowners and the local communities, so this feedback is a vital part of the planning process.

"The reservoir will have added benefits, not only storing and supplying water but also providing new habitats for wildlife, a new place for people to visit and enjoy, and new economic investment for communities."

To keep up to date with the project visit the website, where there is a recently published FAQ. The project email and freephone 0800 915 4292 continue to be available if people would like to get in touch. You can also contact us via our freepost address: Freepost Fens Reservoir.

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Post: Freepost Fens Reservoir