CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save an historic reservoir spillway have garnered more support.

The Save Butterley Spillway group had already been backed by The Victorian Society in their fight against the Yorkshire Water plans.

Now two more influential heritage groups have backed the fight.

They are the Council for British Archaeology and The Association for Industrial Architecture.

Yorkshire Water insist that the current spillway, which takes overflow water from the reservoir, is in urgent need of repair.

They have proposed a plan to replace much of the existing stone spillway with concrete, but to utilise the stone in parts of the work.

But the move has angered people living in Marsden who argue that it is a vital part of the area’s industrial heritage.

They have taken their fight as far as the House of Commons and have pledged to continue the fight once Yorkshire Water submits a planning application to Kirklees Council.

Jon Wright, head of conservation at the Council for British Archeology, said: “Reservoir spillways are not the first things that spring to mind when considering important historic buildings.

“The Victorian spillway at Butterley, completed in 1906, is something special however, both in terms of architectural quality and its importance as a local landmark to the adjacent village of Marsden.

“This elegant structure, with its stone weir and ashlar-dressed walls that step down the reservoir bank is currently under threat of demolition from Yorkshire Water, who are proposing to replace it in concrete to plan for future storm events.

“The CBA is now working closely with the Save Butterley Spillway group to raise awareness about the threat to its survival and to give the local people of Marsden support in their efforts to save a significant piece of local heritage”.

Diane Ellis, of the campaign group, said: “The spillway is unique in every sense of the word and it should not be destroyed.

“If Yorkshire Water’s planned work takes place the iconic spillway will be lost forever. We cannot believe that Yorkshire Water is deliberately planning to demolish a unique and much loved listed building when alternative solutions exist which satisfy legislation.

“Marsden is defined by its stunning moorland landscape and its rich history. The mills, reservoirs and transport connections have shaped the development of the village and are integral to it as a ‘place’.

“The spillway is a local landmark and is much loved by local residents and the many tourists who visit the area.”

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