Reservoirs for sale in Kent

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The Independent Online

Two redundant reservoirs and a natural underground spring that are being sold at auction next month have attracted huge interest in Kent, where drought orders are in place.

The reservoirs are on an acre of land near Maidstone and have a guide price of £100,000. But auctioneers expect the plot to attract far higher bids from people keen to avoid hosepipe bans by owning their own water supply. Despite the wettest May on record for years, millions of families in Britain are facing the prospect of having their water rationed.

Southern and Mid Kent Water became the latest suppliers to be granted drought orders last week. The reservoirs are on the banks of the river Medway in the village of East Farleigh, in Southern and Mid Kent's territory.

The original brick reservoir was built in the 1860s and is now covered with earth. A second, built underground in the 1950s, also has a large pumping station but has not been used for some years. But both could be easily reopened.

Attempts to win planning permission for large scale redevelopment of the site have been turned down by the local council, but the auctioneers say that an application for a single house could fare better.

Kevin Gilbert, of Clive Emson Auctions, said: "We have been awash with interest. There have been dozens of viewings of the site. An entrepreneur could bottle their own Farleigh Spring Water."