More than 200 object to plans to re-model Victorian engineer’s ‘finest works’

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MORE than 200 people are 
objecting to plans to modify a listed structure at a Pennine reservoir.

Yorkshire Water has submitted plans to Kirklees Council for safety improvements to the overflow spillway at Butterley Reservoir at Marsden, near Huddersfield.

It would mean the use of concrete to replace the stepped stone staircase.

The company says the work is vital but critics say that the work will “ruin” the stone structure.

More than 200 local people have written to the council to object to the plans.

Conservation body English Heritage is also opposing the scheme.

Diane Ellis, of campaign group Save Butterley Spillway, said members were delighted with the number of objectors but she emphasised that it was not too late for others to have their say.

Supporters of the group have been helping local people who are unused to the planning system to compile their letters.

Mrs Ellis, who lives in Marsden, said the group would be making three key points to the council.

She claimed that alternative options to modifying the spillway had yet to be fully investigated.

The second point the group will raise relates to the importance of the site’s heritage which they claim is being underplayed.

They claim that Butterley and its spillway are among the best preserved works of the famous Victorian water engineer Thomas Hawksley.

Hawksley constructed new waterworks for Nottingham, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leicester and many other towns and cities.

Mrs Ellis said: “Butterley is probably one of his best preserved pieces of work.”

The group’s third main point relates to the re-modelling of the spillway being proposed by Yorkshire Water.

Mrs Ellis said that if the work had to be carried out it should be a “contemporary” design rather than a “pastiche” in which concrete is made to resemble real stone.

“If we do have to go with the re-modelling of the spillway, the design is of a poor quality. Trying to make concrete look like stone is going to look haphazard.”

Yorkshire Water has stated that modifying the existing spillway is the company’s preferred option as well as the safest.

Councillors on the planning committee will discuss the plans later this year at a date yet to be fixed.