Anglian Water bids for massive new 100-mile plus pipeline

Anglian Water pipeline

Work under way on one of the northern sections of the new pipeline - Credit: Tim George

Work on part of a pipeline which will stretch from North Lincolnshire, through parts of Norfolk and to Suffolk, is set to start this year.

Anglian Water Services (AWS) wants to begin work on a section between Grantham and Bexwell, near Downham Market, as part of a strategic pipeline stretching to Bury St Edmunds.

It has applied to West Norfolk council and four other local authorities along the proposed route for planning permission for the scheme.

It says the East of England is one of the driest regions in England, with only two thirds of the average rainfall but is also one of the fastest growing, with the population predicted to increase by 20pc over the next 25 years.

Without taking any action, the East of England would face a water deficit of 30m litres a day by 2025.

Anglian Water pipeline

The proposed route of the pipeline, which will run from Lincolnshire to Ipswich via Norfolk - Credit: Chris Bishop

In a planning statement, it says: "AWS is building up to 500 kilometres of new interconnecting pipelines which will enable water to be moved around the region more freely from areas of surplus in north Lincolnshire, to the south and east of the region.

"These new pipelines will strengthen local resilience by reducing the number of homes and businesses which rely on a single water source.

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"The proposed Grantham to Bexwell pipeline scheme forms part of this new network of interconnecting pipelines and is a critical part of the infrastructure that will collectively tackle the region’s water supply challenges."

In its application, AWS says the pipeline would enter west Norfolk via Thorney, Guyhirn and Outwell before crossing the River Ouse and the Relief Channel to the north west of Downham Market.

East of the Relief Channel, the proposed pipeline route passes through a mixed landscape of arable and grassland, to Bexwell on the eastern side of Downham Market. From there a further extension will run to Bury St Edmunds.

AWS says: "The proposed pipeline route in this area has been optimised to avoid areas of woodland and to avoid or minimise conflict with major housing developments which are proposed at land north of Downham Market.

"The works to install the proposed pipeline, which will be buried below ground level for its length, are temporary in nature and the land will be restored to maintain the recreational and environmental value of it post reinstatement."

Work will begin this summer and the pipeline will be completed by 2025 if the scheme is given planning permission. Anglian Water said there would be "very little" disruption as most of the work would be carried out in fields.