Severn Trent Water is looking to build a new 10-mile-long water pipe under part of Nottingham and surrounding districts to improve the area’s supply.
The new pipe would carry water between reservoirs in Redhill and Strelley, helping to make the city’s water supply more reliable.
Multiple road and lane closures will be needed during construction, but the water company says the work is necessary to cut wastage.
The plans follow criticism of water companies over how much is lost through leaking pipes.
In 2022, the industry regulator, Ofwat, said Severn Trent Water lost around 161bn litres of water through leaks in a 12-month period.
In response Severn Trent says it is “targeting a 15 per cent reduction by 2025, and 50 per cent by 2045, to meet the needs of our long-term water management”.
Plans submitted to Nottingham City Council by the water company say the new 10-mile (16km) pipeline will help improve the reliability of the supply for the city, while also reducing its reliance on boreholes.
Boreholes are holes drilled hundreds of metres into the ground to reach naturally filtered water.
They are one of three main sources of water alongside reservoirs and rivers but are typically costly to create.
Plans say the pipeline comes as part of Severn Trent’s obligations to protect the environment and improve its water supply network.
The new pipeline would begin at a reservoir at the Ollerton Road and Mansfield Road roundabout in Redhill, before running through fields near Bestwood Country Park.
It would then continue from a field to the north of Park Road, Bestwood Village, and run below what plans refer to as Farley’s Disused Railway Local Wildlife Site, and towards Bulwell Hall Golf Course.
Finally, the pipeline would run next to the new housing estate at the former Rolls-Royce aerodrome in Hucknall, before running parallel to the M1, down towards Nuthall and Strelley.
Severn Trent’s plans say: “The key driver behind this scheme is to provide water for the area of Nottingham reducing the requirement for borehole water and the provision of supply resilience for the city.
“The scheme will involve the laying of approximately 16km of new pipeline to transfer water from Strelley Reservoir to the west of Nottingham to Redhill Reservoir to the north-east of Nottingham.
“The route of the proposed pipeline will run roughly south-west to north-east from Strelley Reservoir to the west of Nottingham to Redhill Reservoir in Arnold, to the north-east of Nottingham.
“The proposed pipeline route passes through the jurisdiction of Broxtowe District Council, Ashfield District Council, Gedling Borough Council and Nottingham City Council.
“The majority of the pipeline will be laid within private land with the minority within the highway.”
If plans are approved, work will start in September and take approximately 18 months.
Multiple temporary road and lane closures are proposed if the plans are given the green light.
One such lane closure would be on Nottingham Road, just outside Nuthall and opposite the Temple Community Centre.
The pipeline would then run under the A610, parallel to the M1 at junction 26.
Another road closure would be introduced at the A6002 Woodhouse Way, at the roundabout near the Nottingham Business Park.
These closures would extend to the Chatterley Parkway, Lawrence Drive and Princess Boulevard roundabout.
Other closures are proposed in Park Road, near Bestwood Country Park, as well as Lamin’s Lane near Killarney Park.
Wessex Archaeology has also been commissioned by Severn Trent Water to assess the area where the pipe is planned, to establish whether there is an archaeological interest on the expansive site.
Because the areas where the pipeline is planned have been left relatively undisturbed by modern development, artefacts may have been preserved from the Romano-British, medieval and post-medieval periods, according to documents.
Documents from Wessex Archaeology say: “This assessment finds that as the proposed works will, following its completion, reinstate the surrounding rural landscape, and not permanently alter its function nor character, the impact of this development upon the significance of any designated heritage assets though a change in their setting is considered to be negligible.”
However, further fieldwork surveys will be required.