New Mendip Reservoir Planning. Photo: Simon Doling; New Mendip Reservoir Planning. Photo: Simon Doling;

Cheddar Reservoir Two, Cheddar, Somerset

Bristol Water deliver their vision of a second reservoir at Cheddar

Arup has played a unique role in helping Bristol Water deliver their vision of a second reservoir at Cheddar to meet future need.

Site Selection

During the first phase of this project, Arup helped Bristol Water whittle down an initial list of 53 possible sites to one preferred site. This was based on thorough considerations of ecology, engineering, construction, visual impact and access. Arup’s analysis helped prove the long-held belief that enough spare water flow capacity from Cheddar Gorge springs exists to fill both the existing reservoir and a second one. 

The site selected for the reservoir’s location reduces estimated construction costs by 20% and allows greater integration with Bristol Water’s existing infrastructure.

Design and Planning

Having undertaken these initial investigations, Arup has now designed a more detailed scheme and developed a robust planning application, submitted to Sedgemoor District Council in December 2013. Designing this detailed scheme has required extensive ground investigation trials, ecological and archaeological surveys, plus noise, transport and visitor surveys.


The scheme is of major importance to the local community and environment. Arup has supported Bristol Water to ensure full consultation with the local community to help shape the final plans for the reservoir.  This includes dialogue with local community groups and representatives, as well as formal consultation with statutory authorities and the wider community through public exhibitions and feedback analysis.


Arup is helping to design a reservoir that is efficient to operate and cost effective to construct and manage, whilst also exploring ideas for Cheddar Reservoir Two to act as a local amenity and recreational facility.