Archaeologists back bid to preserve historic spillway

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A NATIONAL conservation body has added its voice to a campaign to preserve a Yorkshire reservoir’s stepped spillway.

Butterley Reservoir spillway at Marsden, near Huddersfield, was built between 1896 and 1906 and was given Grade II listed status in the 1980s.

Owner Yorkshire Water says the overflow structure needs upgrading for safety reasons but their plans to replace the stones with concrete have prompted widespread criticism and a community campaign.

The Council for British Archaeology is supporting the protesters.

Jon Wright, director of conservation at the council, said: 
“The significance of this spillway does not rest solely on its tremendous architectural design, but also in its contribution to, and 
relationship with, the wider historic and natural landscape around the reservoir and the village.

“Couple this with a chorus of local opposition to the plans to alter the spillway and you have a part of the local landscape that is elegant, listed and loved – surely a powerful argument for retention.

“The CBA endeavours to work closely with the local campaigners and help give their views a national platform.”

The backing has been welcomed by Diane Ellis, of the Save Butterley Spillway group, who said: “The spillway is a prominent feature of the village and many locals share a special connection with the Wessenden Valley where it is situated.”

Yorkshire Water, which has yet to submit a planning application, has said that the “preferred option” is to replace the spillway using reinforced concrete.