Northumbrian Water has applied for planning permission for a new covered service reservoir, capable of storing over 62million litres of potable water underground near Springwell Village. It will supply water to over 50,000 people.
The company’s planning consultants, Lichfields, submitted applications for the multi-million scheme to Sunderland and Gateshead Councils earlier this month.
Michael Baker, Northumbrian Water’s tactical planning manager, said: “The area which will be fed by this new service reservoir includes Springwell, as well as the wider Wearside and South Tyneside areas.
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“The service reservoir, which will consist of two reinforced concrete compartments would be covered with grass to fit in with the local environment, will help to ensure a resilient water supply for the area, strengthening the existing network in the area.
“We are pleased to be in a position to submit our plans for this development which will help secure future supplies for our customers.”
Most of Sunderland and South Tyneside’s water currently travels through a 30km pipe from the Mosswood treatment works, which is supplied by Derwent Reservoir near Consett. Some of this water is then stored in smaller service reservoirs closer to Wearside homes.
Northumbrian Water says it has been looking to increase the number of these smaller facilities in the Sunderland area. The new one would be on a greenfield site south-west of Springwell village.
Northumbrian Water say the 6.4 hectare site, equivalent in area to about 12 football pitches, is currently used for horse grazing.
A new access road would be built from Mount Lane, along with a single-storey building with parking, landscaping and fencing.
Justine Matchett, associate director at Lichfields who led the preparation of the planning applications and Environmental Impact Assessment, said: “This development will help secure supplies to Wearside and South Tyneside and support the wider water network in this part of the region.”
Mr Baker added: “The reservoir will also strengthen and future-proof our existing network in the area enabling us to provide improved water supply resilience to the wider Wearside and South Tyneside areas, benefiting a further 480,000 customers.”