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  • by Karma Loveday

London Assembly calls on Defra to crack on with Abingdon reservoir policy

The London Assembly’s Environment Committee has called on Defra to get a move on with work that will facilitate the construction of the Abingdon reservoir.

In a letter, chair Leonie Cooper asked environment secretary Steve Barclay to provide an update on when he intends to issue a decision on Thames Water’s revised draft Water Resources Management Plan, published in August 2023. This was expected by the end of last year. Cooper pointed out that “delays in publishing of this guidance are holding up the progression of major infrastructure projects, including planning processes over the Abingdon Reservoir”.

She went on to recommend to Barclay that the April 2023 National Policy Statement for Water Resources “is supplemented to include a spatially specific letter to advance the development for the Abingdon reservoir” and more generally “the Committee would suggest that future guidance on water infrastructure is more spatially specific”.


She highlighted that the original completion schedule for Abingdon of  2037 has already slipped to 2040, and further delays and cost escalation is risked by planning challenges.

The Committee is due to publish a full report of its recent investigation into London’s water issues, including water security, pollution and flood risk.


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