Councillors have agreed to amend the reason they refused Yorkshire Water’s multi-million pound plan for major work to Butterley Spillway.

The re-think was prompted by advice from Kirklees Council’s counsel that the original reason would not stand up at the Planning Inquiry to be held on January 20 next year.

However, Yorkshire Water confirmed in an email to planning officers on Wednesday that they would not seek costs for preparing their appeal case on the original basis of refusal from councillors.

It prompted councillors to ask if they were happy with the latest reason, when Yorkshire Water were content with the change.

Kirklees will now fight the case at January’s inquiry on the grounds that the “proposed works by reason of their scale, design and the materials of construction would result in substantial harm to the significance and setting of the heritage asset”.

Clr Eric Firth demanded to know why the council had overlooked the heritage issue in the first place.

 

He was told advice that the previous reason, which was the impact on visual appearance on the landscape, could not be argued in light of a new Environmental Statement submitted by Yorkshire Water.

Clr Ken Sims said: “I’m worried. Yorkshire Water are condoning this, so have we got the wording right if they’re happy with that we’re doing against them?

“Are we sure at this time we’ve got the wording right to protect what we’re trying to do which is protect what is in effect a listed ‘building’ in effect isn’t desecrated by concrete?”

He was told the council was confident in its argument.

Councillors backed the change unanimously.

Yorkshire Water want to carry out £6m work to the Spillway, which to replace the existing stone spillway at Marsden with concrete sections.