Whaley Bridge reservoir repair could cost up to £16 millions

Published: Thursday, 25 March 2021

IT HAS been disclosed that the repair to Whaley Bridge reservoir could cost up to £16 millions.

It was in August 2019 that the partially collapsed spillway at Toddbrook Reservoir risked flooding Whaley Bridge causing hundreds of residents to be evacuated.

Toddbrook VegLack of maintenance

Canal & River Trust was criticised last year after an official report found the collapse was caused by poor design and a lack of maintenance. The photograph shows the foliage allowed to grow on the paved embankment.

At the time a Chinook helicopter was hastily brought in to drop stone in the collapsed spillway to stop further deterioration with people quickly evacuated from their homes as there was no certainty that a further collapse could not occur.

As the Peak Forest Canal has other water supplies there was a call to give ultimate protection to Whaley Bridge by scrapping the reservoir completely.

New spillway

The plans for the repair include building a new weir and spillway at the reservoir, with a public consultation to be launched in the spring. Subject to planning permission, it will take two years to complete the work but will not start until the end of this year.

ToddbrookBrokenThe new spillway will be constructed to take the water around the north of the dam. The old spillway, which was damaged, will be grassed over.

The Report author, Prof David Balmforth, made 22 recommendations to improve safety across the reservoir network, which were accepted by the government.

Lessons learnt

As to Canal & River Trust it comments it is 'acting on all the lessons learnt from this incident', with 13 different permanent options having been considered.