Toddbrook Reservoir to be repaired

Published: Friday, 22 October 2021

THE Toddbrook Reservoir bank that collapsed back in 2019 is to be repaired.

ToodNewBankThe repair took a step forward this month with the submission of a planning application to High Peak Borough Council for permission to replace the spillway that was damaged following torrential rain in summer 2019, with a new overflow structure to the north of the dam which will funnel away excess water when the reservoir is full.

The application for the new structure includes building a new overflow side channel weir, ‘tumble bay’, spillway channel and stilling basin which links to the existing bypass channel before flowing into the Goyt in the town’s Memorial Park.

The artists' impression above is of the new spillway whilst the one below is of the new sailing club clubhouse.

ToddSailingClubNew sailing club facilities

The planning application also includes a proposal to replace the current sailing club facilities, which will be lost by the building of the new spillway. Plans feature a new clubhouse, boat storage, slipway and car park, located on a site behind the proposed tumble bay.

The repair project is estimated to cost in the region of £12 million to £16 million, and subject to planning permission, work is due to start in spring 2022 and is expected to take about two years to complete, with the reservoir re-opening to the public in summer 2024.

Lack of maintenance

It was in August 2019 that the lack of proper maintenance caused the reservoir spillway to collapse resulting in more than 1,500 people being evacuated from the town at the terminus of the Peak Forest Canal.

ToddbrookBrokenThe temporary repair of the spillway took a year, but it will still take three more years to complete a permanent repair to make the reservoir safe.

An emergency operation involved RAF helicopters filling the voids whilst the reservoir was drained and the emergency services organising a hasty evacuation of the people in danger from total collapsed of the dam.

Blamed Canal & River Trust

Professor David Balmforth, a reviewer of reservoir safety, blamed 'poor design' and 'Intermittent maintenance over the years' by Canal & River Trust for the failure of the dam in his report in March. See Allan Richard's report.

The photograph above shows the actual failure of the dam whilst the one below shows the vegetation growing through the surface of the dam wall that eventually caused the failure through the lack of maintenance by Canal & River Trust as Professor David Balmforth explained.

Toddbrook VegOf the forthcoming repair, Daniel Greenhalgh, Canal & River Trust North West Director, explained:

“We are very grateful to everyone who has given feedback or attended our public consultations in September 2020 and June this year. We have also had extensive discussions with local residents, particularly those nearest the site, and have tried to adapt our plans and designs to cause the least disruption and inconvenience.

“We recognise the repair work will cause disruption for some residents, particularly those living nearby, and we will do our very best to mitigate noise and inconvenience as far as we are able.

Better water supply

Restoring Toddbrook will provide a better water supply to the Peak Forest and Macclesfield canals, that have been suffering since the Toddbrook failure.

The engineering and consultancy firm Arup has prepared the detailed plans and construction will be by the Trust’s main contractor Kier.