Call for public inquiry

Gard leaflet

15th January 2024

CPRE Oxfordshire supports GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development) in Public Inquiry demand for Thames Water’s mega-reservoir.

CPRE Oxfordshire is backing GARD’s calls for a Public Inquiry and is also writing to the Secretary of State for the Environment to request this. 

Thames Water has consistently failed to engage with the strong evidence presented to it about both the harm the reservoir would cause and the viable alternatives that would offer more adaptable and scalable solutions.  

Water from the river Thames and its tributaries will be used to fill this 150 billion litre reservoir.   The water would then be used to supply London, Southern Water and Affinity Water but provides no new water for the region.  The £2billion plus cost would be much better spent fixing leaks and our creaking sewage system.

We need a Public Inquiry to make sure these matters are properly explored and any decision on the reservoir is fully transparent.

CPRE Oxfordshire has been challenging Thames Water’s case for this mega-reservoir for the last 20 years, including through a previous Public Inquiry in 2011 which ruled the reservoir inappropriate. “Whilst securing sustainable future for water in our region is critical, and this proposal would seem like a simple solution, it will have massive environmental and carbon costs.  We need more flexible solutions, offering longer-term resilience, while protecting our countryside and all who live & use it.” Says Professor Richard Harding – Chair, CPRE Oxfordshire.