Havant reservoir plan on hold for the next 25 years

MOTHBALLED An artist's impression of the proposed Havant reservoir

MOTHBALLED An artist's impression of the proposed Havant reservoir

Steven George outside Portsmouth Crown Court Picture: Solent News & Photo Agency

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A NEW reservoir to the north of Havant may be several decades away – if it is ever built at all.

Senior officials at Portsmouth Water have concluded they do not need to build the reservoir in the next 25 years to keep their water supplies healthy.

The mile-long reservoir, proposed for Havant Thicket, is not mentioned in the Havant-based firm’s business plan for the next 25 years.

The company initially proposed to start construction in 2015, with the reservoir being completed by 2021.

Two years ago it announced the reservoir could be built between 2025 and 2035.

Neville Smith, managing director, told The News: ‘From our own needs, the reservoir is not currently in our plan.

‘We have found that water efficiency messages are getting across.

‘We find that people will use less water per head than in the last plan. For our own purposes, we don’t need it.’

However, there is still hope the reservoir could be built on the land, which is still owned by Portsmouth Water. Other companies, such as Southern Water, may one day ask Portsmouth Water for extra supplies.

Mr Smith added: ‘It could be part of a regional solution.

‘Other companies such as Southern Water and South East Water don’t have as big a surplus as we do looking forward. Over the long-term, it will be built. There’s certainly a local desire for it to be built.’

County councillor Liz Fairhurst, who represents Leigh Park and Bedhampton, was saddened she would probably not see the reservoir in her lifetime.

She said: ‘It was going to be a real asset. When you look at all the water that’s going into the harbour – it’s beautiful water and it could be harnessed.

‘It was going to be a fantastic leisure facility. There was talk about having youth activities like sailing, rowing and it being a lovely place to go for a walk.’

Meanwhile, the long-term future of the company’s offices in West Street, Havant, is being reviewed.

Mr Smith said: ‘These offices are getting quite old.

‘We would probably have to spend quite a bit to have it refurbished. We have some land in Solent Road and we are considering whether we should build a new office on there and release part of this. We have no firm plans yet.’

He said the springs on the office site would remain intact and away from any new homes.

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