Protection plea for Victorian spillway

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A CAMPAIGN group working to preserve a Victorian reservoir’s overflow structure is applying for it to be granted Grade II* listed status.

Save Butterley Spillway members fear that Yorkshire Water’s proposed safety upgrade plans for Butterley Reservoir at Marsden, near Huddersfield, will amount to the “demolition” of the overflow stepped structure.

Currently, the spillway enjoys Grade II listed status, which was granted 28 years ago, but campaigners claim an enhanced listing from English Heritage will give it further protection from any proposed alterations.

A campaign group spokesman said a Grade II* listing would place the spillway in the top five per cent of all listed buildings, and provide a “much higher level of protection against the current and future threats of demolition and significant alteration”.

The listing application also seeks to include all other elements of the reservoir infrastructure in the designation including the scour portico, wave wall, valve house and flights of steps.

“Upgrading the designation will make the regulatory framework tougher when the current planning applications go before Kirklees Council,” the spokesman added.

Yesterday, members of the campaign group appealed to a full meeting of Kirklees Council to back their campaign to have the listing upgraded.

The campaign to preserve the spillway has already been backed by the Victorian Society, the Council for British Archaeology and the Association of Industrial Archaeology.

Local resident, Tom Lonsdale, who spoke to councillors yesterday, said: “The Save Butterley Spillway group is now appealing for people to support us in seeking to persuade English Heritage to upgrade the spillway’s designation and ask that people write to us to record their support and explain why the spillway and upgrade are important to them. Letters will then be passed on to English Heritage.”

Mr Lonsdale said the structure was worthy of being preserved in its entirety.

“The spillway is one of the tallest and widest Victorian spillway channels in the country – its overall scale and grandeur is unrivalled. The entire reservoir infrastructure is preserved in an excellent, original condition.”

As previously reported in the Yorkshire Post, the plans to improve the flood resilience of the spillway will involve the use of concrete and a “masonry effect” finish on the inside of walls.

Yorkshire Water says the work has to be done to ensure the overflow structure can cope in an extreme flood.

The company says it has worked hard to “mitigate the visual impact” of the proposals.

Anyone wishing to back the bid for Grade II* listed status can email butterleyspillway@gmail.com, visit www.spillway.co.uk or drop a letter in to A Month of Sundaes in Peel Street, Marsden.