Butterley Spillway Marsden October 2015

Save Butterley Spillway crowdfunding appeal

I write a lot about the hills and moors around Marsden and sometimes about the heritage of the area. That heritage has literally shaped those hills and moors, in the form of quarry, road, rail, canal and reservoir.

One of the most obvious examples is the daisy chain of reservoirs that fill the Wessenden valley. What was once a brook used by hunter-gatherers to corral prey, has become a series of reservoirs created in Victorian times. Culminating in Butterley reservoir at the foot of the valley. And that is ‘crowned’ by an impressive spillway. The spillway was given Grade II Listing status on 11th July 1985. If you have ever walked along the Wessenden valley to or from the Peak District or across to Black Hill, or looked around that side of Marsden, as a visitor – you’ll have stopped to look at this impressive structure.

The spillway is under threat and the High Court representation needs funds: https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/beautiful-butterley/

The spillway in its victorian engineering guise is under imminent threat – Yorkshire Water propose works that will essentially remove the original Victorian stone works and replace it with a concrete solution. I’m simplifying here for the sake of brevity but after other hearings (supported by a local support group) it comes down to a pensioner – retired civil engineer, Colin Anderson – challenging Yorkshire Water’s plans in the high court.

Which needs finances that he doesn’t have himself. Hence the need for a crowdfunding campaign. There is a High Court hearing on 7 October at which Colin’s challenge of the Government’s decision will be heard. He has obtained a court order to limit costs but he still needs to raise £12,000 to pay barristers and solicitors to represent him in the High Court.

Butterley Spillway Marsden October 2015
The contemplative local spotted after I had taken this photo

No one that I’ve spoken with or read views from disputes the need for works on the spillway to bring it up to modern standards (that’s a lot of water sat above the village). But the stark solution proposed by Yorkshire Water is essentially to remove the Victorian works.

Colin wants them to find acceptable alternatives, ideally an alternative overflow structure so that the existing one can remain untouched. Colin spoke at an earlier public inquiry and as he says on the Crowd Justice website (see links) “The inquiry refused to permit my evidence and in so doing acted unjustly. As the Planning Inspector broke inquiry rules I have filed a statutory appeal”.

And as Simon Armitage has written: “Water is Marsden’s great theme, and the Butterley Spillway is its great landmark.  To begin dismantling the village’s past would be to jeopardise its future as a tourist destination, a site of cultural importance and a place to live.

If you want to support the representation of Colin’s arguments in the High Court, please visit https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/beautiful-butterley/

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