THE fight to save Butterley Reservoir has been taken all the way to Parliament.
Campaigners are trying to prevent some of Yorkshire Water’s proposals for the listed spillway in Marsden.
And as the Save Butterley Spillway Group prepare to speak before Kirklees Council, MP Jason McCartney raised the issue in a House of Commons debate.
The Colne Valley MP pressed for transparency in debates about major planning issues and for local views to be heard.
Speaking during the Business of the House debate, Mr McCartney said: “Aldi, Morrisons and Tesco want to build big stores in my constituency; some people are against and some are in favour.
“Yorkshire Water, meanwhile, wants to rip up the listed Victorian reservoir spillway at Butterley in Marsden, and nearly everybody is against that.
“May we have a debate on how communities can be involved, how the process can be a lot more transparent and how local views can be heard on such major planning issues?”
Andrew Lansley, Leader of the House of Commons, replied that the Colne Valley MP “raises important issues with which the House has become familiar, not least through his robust advocacy of the heritage represented by the Butterley spillway.
He added: “The Government are focused on securing local decision making, not least through neighbourhood plans, which, if used to their fullest extent by local communities, give some of the protection that he rightly is looking for.”
Owner Yorkshire Water wants to revamp the spillway by replacing the natural stone steps with concrete.
It has applied for planning consent to make changes to the overflow structure at the listed reservoir.
Yorkshire Water says work is required to ensure the overflow continues to effectively protect the reservoir embankment from flood erosion.
The company claims that without an effective overflow, the embankment would be exposed and lead to dam failure, potentially flooding many properties downstream.
On Wednesday the Save Butterley Spillway Group will make a deputation at full council.
Members will ask for the council’s support and present the case to save Butterley and speak of its immediate threat of destruction, heritage and importance for Kirklees.
Ian Ladbrooke, a resident campaigning to save Butterley, said: “There is a lot of support; we’ve had people from all over the world like our Facebook page.
“Obviously we realise something has got to be done. If there are problems we’re the first people to be affected, but let’s consider all of the alternatives.”
The spillway has been included on the Victorian Society’s list of the 10 most endangered buildings in England and Wales.