Broad Oak Water

Broad Oak Water is an exciting project which, once constructed, will not only help meet the demand for water of those living and working in Canterbury and surrounding areas, but will also offer opportunities for tourism and recreation. Crucially it will also lead to the creation of new habitats and enhance the area’s biodiversity.

We currently anticipate the reservoir could hold 2,800 million litres of water supplying up to 13.5 million litres of extra water per day to the Canterbury area. 
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Broad Oak Water proposed site

What we’re working on now

We’ve started carrying out environmental studies along the Sarre Penn which is close to the southern section of the reservoir. These environmental studies are helping us to create a more detailed plan of how the reservoir may look if it is to be built.

The results of these studies will then be included in our next Water Resource Management Plan which is due for submission to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2018/19. By then we will have further information regarding our proposal.

Our long term plans

Projects of this size take a lot of planning which is why we begin thinking about them so far in advance, the reservoir at Broad Oak is in our plan to be completed by 2033.

Any final proposals will need to go through the traditional planning process at a later date once all studies have concluded.

What could Broad Oak Water look like?

In the late 1960s/early1970s we built our Arlington Reservoir near Eastbourne, East Sussex which has since become a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Nature trails guide visitors around the reservoir and anglers travel to fish for trout.

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Broad Oak Water could look similar to our reservoir in Arlington, East Sussex

Although at this stage we cannot say what activities will take place on/around Broad Oak Water, we have begun gathering ideas as to what the community would like to see if it is built.
Ideas have included; fishing nature trails, a cycle route and an education centre. We want it to be an asset to the area both for the community and environment and will continue to work with local residents and organisations to achieve that.

The new reservoir will not impact upon a nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest and ancient woodland. When we are further along, and the environmental surveys and studies have been completed, we will have a better idea of what Broad Oak Water may look like and what opportunities it presents, we will then be in a position to release further information.

Key Facts

• Predicted cost: £80 million
• Capacity: Could hold 2,800 million litres of water
• Daily supply: An extra 13.5 million litres of water to the area, the equivalent of 168,750 baths
• Opportunities: New recreational facilities which may include angling, walking and bird watching
• Environment: Enhanced biodiversity through habitat creation

Further information:

2014 Water Resources Management Plan: