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Column 2nd March 2022

Reservoir plans myth busting

It’s time that I did some myth busting about the Thames Water plans for a VERY LARGE reservoir between Hanney, Marcham, Drayton and Steventon.

Myth 1 – we need the water.

Building a reservoir will not add to the amount of water – it will simply store up to 150 million tons of water in case of need.

An easier solution is to extract water from the River Severn and pipe it over to the Thames where it can be used to supply the population of London.

Thames Water has the worst record for repairing leaks of any water company in the country and if they do repair 50 percent of leaks by 2050 (as demanded by the government) they would save enough water for about a million homes.

Myth 2 – a reservoir will be much better than building 40,000 more homes on a flood plain covering 4 square miles.

New 2½ storey houses are usually up to 10 metres high.

This reservoir will be surrounded by grass banks which will be about 30 metres high – 3 times the height of a 2½ storey house.

The banks can’t have trees on them (this could create weak spots) so it will be a 2 mile long flat hill running parallel to the A338 from the railway to Venn Mill.

The homes east of the A338 in Hanney will be less than half a mile from the bank.

It will fill the area between the A338 and the A34.

It will not be like the much, much smaller (and much lower) Farmoor reservoir.

Myth 3 – it will provide great leisure opportunities.

There is unlikely to be any public access to the reservoir because it will probably be covered with solar panels and water levels could vary by 40 metres so landing stages won’t be possible.

There will be no room around the reservoir for any amenity space because any space not taken by the reservoir will be used for flood attenuation pools – this is a flood plain.

Myth 4 – it’s very eco-friendly.

Building the reservoir will mean digging a hole 20 metres deep and building 30 metre high earth and concrete walls around the hole to hold in the water.

This will require moving about 5 million tons (120,000 lorries) of rubble and gravel with all the emissions that they create.

To find out how to object to the reservoir go to our website at https://wantageandgrove.org/reservoir.php

Don’t delay – we need everyone to respond before 14 March.


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