A NEW plan has been submitted for changes to the historic Butterley Reservoir’s spillway.

And it has been revealed that vital safety changes were first  recommended five years ago.

Proposed changes to Butterley Reservoir’s spillway were recommended five years ago.

An inspection in 2008 suggested Yorkshire Water take action to improve safety to the existing overflow spillway channel of Butterley Reservoir, Wessenden Road, Marsden.

They were told by an independent engineer that work should be done to improve the Grade  II listed spillway by October 2009.

It is claimed the  consequence of a  breach of the dam could result in “catastrophic damage and potential loss of life downstream in excess  of 10 lives”.

Now, Yorkshire Water Services are seeking consent for £6 million works to ensure compliance with the Reservoirs  Act.

Officials are seeking  permission to reconstruct a section of the  existing masonry  reservoir spillway, replacement  and raising of existing walls, work to the spillway base and reconstruction of the existing  spillway cascade section.

The proposed spillway base  is to be lined with reinforced  concrete and the cascade will be replaced with a straight ramp and its walls raised to up to 7m  in height. 

Butterley Reservoir, plan of proposed spillway improvements
Butterley Reservoir, plan of proposed spillway improvements
 

Yorkshire Water say that as a  result of public consultation:  “The revised plans will see us going well beyond what we’re  required to do, with the additional changes costing £1.2million, taking the overall  cost of the scheme to nearly  £6million. 

“These additional changes  include re-using the stone masonry from the spillway walls to clad the outside walls of the spillway, staining the  concrete floor of the spillway on completion, stepping the spillway every 300mm, re-using the existing coping stones and taking a mould of the old wall  to ensure that the new one  blends in as much as possible.”

They say that completion of  the works, the use of the reservoir and overflow spillway will  be as it is now. 

However, if approved,  changes will have to be made during construction – temporary flood protection will be required and the water level in Butterley Reservoir and the reservoirs upstream –  Wessenden Head, Wessenden Old and Blakeley – will be lowered.

Similar works have been done at Ramsden, Riding Wood, Brownhill and Yateholme reservoirs.

Members of the Save Butterley Spillway group have addressed Kirklees Council to express their concerns.

The Huddersfield Planning  Committee will decide the  application for the spillway at a later date.