Non-statutory consultation on a proposed reservoir in the Fens

Anglian Water is developing proposals for a new reservoir in the Fens, in partnership with Cambridge Water. This crucial new resource will secure water supply to our customers for future generations. It will store more water so it’s always on tap when we need it, meeting the challenges of a changing climate and a growing population. It will mean less water is taken from sensitive sources, helping us to protect and restore the environment.

Alongside meeting these challenges, the project presents significant social, economic and environmental opportunities. Our vision for the project goes beyond just building a reservoir. We want to create a place where water, people and nature come together. That means creating space for wildlife, such as wetlands, alongside enabling new recreational and educational activities and natural places for people to explore. It also means creating new jobs and providing opportunities for local businesses and tourism.

The proposed reservoir will be a strategic regional asset and due to its size and scale it qualifies as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). We will therefore follow the process set out in the Planning Act 2008, which provides the framework for how NSIPs are developed and consented. We will apply to the Planning Inspectorate, who act on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for permission to build the reservoir. The permission is called a Development Consent Order (DCO).

A non-statutory consultation on our proposals will start today, Wednesday 12 October. This consultation is the first in a multi-phase approach – at least two more consultations will follow, with the DCO planning application expected to be submitted towards the end of 2025.

The autumn 2022 consultation will start on 12 October and run for ten weeks, concluding at 23:59 on 21 December.

We will be asking for feedback on these main points:

  • the area we have identified for the reservoir and its embankments
  • the area we have identified for supporting infrastructure and during construction
  • the early concept design for the reservoir, and the features people would like to be considered in the design

Our consultation materials are available online at www.fensreservoir.co.uk as well as at consultation events and selected information points. Hard copy documents will also be available to view at reference locations in the Fens. The locations of all events, reference and information points can be found on the website.

The feedback we receive during this consultation will help us to develop the project design and understand what people would like to see. It will be reviewed, recorded and carefully considered alongside further technical work as we refine our proposals.

For more information on this non-statutory consultation, please visit our website: www.fensreservoir.co.uk.