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  • by Karma Loveday

Portsmouth to rein in reduce loss of woodland following consultation

Portsmouth Water has published a You said, we did report, summarising the feedback it received from the recent public consultation on its Havant Thicket reservoir plans, and how those opinions have shaped its thinking.

Among changes being made following the consultation are: widening paths for pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders around the site; putting extra measures in place to prevent potential anti-social behaviour at the reservoir; ensuring the visitor centre is designed to blend in with the surrounding area; and creating an access road from the south a well as reducing the width of the access road from the north to reduce traffic on the northern route and halve the amount of ancient woodland that would have been removed.

Chief executive, Bob Taylor (pictured), acknowledged the loss of ancient woodland was a concern aired by a number of consultation respondents. He pointed to the “extensive efforts” being taken to address this. He said: “We have worked closely with environmental partners to take advantage of this one- off opportunity, to create a large new wetland for wildlife, to replant and improve at least 110 hectares of woodland and grassland, nearby to the reservoir and further afield, and establish a grant scheme to get other environmental projects in the area off the ground.

“As we have updated our designs during the last year, we have now managed to reduce the loss of ancient woodland in three areas – by changing the line of the reservoir embankment, moving the parking area out of Bell’s Copse Wood and reducing the width of the access road from the north.”

Portsmouth Water is due to submit planning applications for the reservoir in the coming weeks.


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