Autumn 2023 update
Following a public consultation earlier this year on our draft Water Resources Management Plan (draft WRMP), which set out the actions and investment needed to make sure we’ll have a resilient and sustainable water supply for the next 50 years, we published our revised draft WRMP at the end of August.
The proposed new reservoir is a key part of this revised draft plan, along with targets to halve leakage by 2050 and install a further one million smart water meters in customers’ homes.
We’ve published a project update, which you can find here: View SESRO summary brochure.
We held two community information events in November, which were well attended. Thank you to everyone that came.
Clay Compaction Trial
As part of our assessment work, we’re planning to undertake a clay compaction trial. Using land we already own, we plan to create test embankments at a height of up to approximately 3 metres to see how the strength and water content of the local Kimmeridge clay changes when it’s compacted.
The clay compaction trial requires planning consent and in November 2023 we submitted a planning application for our work to the Vale of White Horse District Council for their consideration. The application has now been validated by the Council and will be considered by them over the coming weeks.
You can view and make comments on the application directly to the Council via their website https://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/vale-of-white-horse-district-council/planning-and-development/local-plan-and-planning-policies/planning-registers/planning-application-register/
The application reference is P23/V2559/FUL.
If consent is granted, we aim to begin the trial in Spring 2024. It will take between 6 and 12 months to complete the trial, depending on weather conditions.
As part of the planning application for the clay compaction trial, we need to dig a series of trial trenches in the field we own at Cow Common to help us understand the potential for on-site archaeology. The trenches, which will be up to 0.6metres deep, will be dug by an excavator, and archaeologists will check to see if there is any important archaeology within the trenches.
Our findings will be written up in a report to be issued as an addendum to our planning application for the clay compaction trial.
We had originally planned to undertake the archaeological trial works in early January 2024, but this work has been postponed until ground conditions are better. We now expect these works to take place in February 2024.
On site will be a welfare unit, excavators to dig the trenches, matting and fencing. We expect the works to take between 2 and 4 weeks to complete. Once completed, the trenches will be backfilled and the ground reinstated.
From the end of January 2024, we'll also be undertaking ground investigations on land we own on fields located either side of Hanney Road. This will involve measuring and extracting soil and rock samples from boreholes, small pits and one small trench. The samples will help us better understand local ground conditions, supporting our design work. The work will take place over an approximate 4-week period and will involve the temporary erection of a small rig to extract the samples.
You can find out more about the clay compaction trial and ground investigations here.