October 17, 2022 6.00 pm This story is over 18 months old

Lincolnshire farmers losing homes to reservoir warn of ‘dire’ impact

Anglian Water says it would be a ‘once in a generation investment’

Farmers who could lose their homes to a proposed reservoir say the plans will leave the area ‘economically stagnant’ for years.

Consultation has just begun on Anglian Water’s plans for land near Sleaford.

Five square kilometres near the village of Scredington would be flooded, ensuring water for half a million homes in the area.

More than 2,700 people have signed a petition against it.

Anglian Water says the reservoir is vital for keeping the taps running as the region’s population grows.

Hannah Thorogood, the owner of the Inkpot organic farm, is one of those who could lose their homes and livelihoods.

“It’s a dire situation – the plans are taking a real toll on people’s mental and physical health, and we’re already hearing about house sales in the area falling through,” she said.

“We could see two decades of economic stagnancy. The twenties will be lost to uncertainty while we wait to see if the plans go ahead, and the thirties will be lost to noisy, floodlit construction.

“Anglian Water says it would create jobs in the local community, but nothing compared to the number which would be lost at each farm.”

Proposed plans for the reservoir (pink areas are water and embankment, grey are infrastructure) | Photo: Anglian Water

Hannah added people have rallied around the farms and homes which are under threat.

“There has been a lot of wonderful support for the Inkpot. People have been talking about it as a nationally-significant example of regenerative farming – exactly the kind of thing our new King would support,” she said.

“For many, it will be the last time they can farm – you can’t just go on RightMove and find another one unless you’ve willing to move a long way away.

“We think it’s important people start sending their feedback and comments to Anglian Water as soon as possible.”

The first round of consultation will last until December 21. Comments can be emailed to [email protected] or through www.lincsreservoir.co.uk.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition opposing the plans | Photo: Change.com

Anglian Water says the ‘once in a generation investment’ could include wildlife areas, watersports facilities and cycle routes which would help to boost the economy.

A spokesperson for Anglian Water said: “As the recent drought has shown, it is critical that we put in place plans to ensure that we have sufficient water to meet the needs of our growing population, particularly as we face into the consequences of climate change.

“Following a thorough and multi-stage site selection assessment process assessing a wide range of criteria, we have now identified the best performing location for a proposed new reservoir in Lincolnshire.

“We know there is wide interest in the new reservoir. The project will create a new reservoir to support water supply to customers in the fast-growing Anglian region. Our proposals go beyond just building a new reservoir, we will create new habitats for wildlife and places for people to explore, and exciting new leisure facilities for people to enjoy.”

Community events will be held during November at local villages. See the full details online.