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'Trapped' villagers' horror at plan to turn farmland into London drinking water reservoir


Villagers have issued their concern over plans to build three reservoirs with a combined capacity of 100,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. The largest of the monstrous reservoirs is planned to be located south of Abingdon in Oxfordshire and would provide water to the Midlands and London. The Oxfordshire reservoir would cover the equivalent of 2,500 football pitches and contain enough water to fill 60,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools under provisional plans.

Such is the concern over the new plans, local farmers have said they will be forced to move amid compulsory purchase legislation.

Family farm owner Mary Tearney, 69, told the MailOnline: “The proposed reservoir would start right at the end of our garden and we will have absolutely no view.

“We now have 200 houses between us and the main road so we would feel completely trapped.

“Once the planning permission goes through they will do a compulsory purchase to buy our land, we would have no choice.

“We’ve already had that once, we used to live where junction 12 of the M4 motorway is, so we’ve been through all that before.

“We didn’t have a choice they just whacked the motorway through the farm.

“The reservoir would reduce the amount of farming acreage we have got dramatically. We do arable farming down here, it’s very good farming land which grows really good crops. It’s very heavy and difficult to manage but when you get it right it grows you really good crops.

“I don’t think the reservoir is needed and I’m not in favour of good farming land disappearing under infrastructure.

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The plans are based on fears over the lack of water supplies in the future.

Industry regulator, Ofwat, has set aside £500million to allow water companies to find schemes to maintain water supplies in the future.

The “Group Against Reservoir Development” has been established to oppose such projects.

Derek Stork, 71, a retired nuclear scientist added: “The water is not needed around here.

“The construction period for the planned reservoir is 10 years, during that time we will be sitting right next to a site which is as big as Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, with 24/7 floodlights, noise and dust pollution.

“Then there is traffic dislocation, the road will no longer exist as it goes right through the reservoir site so the road needs to be diverted.

“It removes a large amount of good farmland, it destroys woodland biodiversity and it builds on top of flood plains, sealing them.

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