The Canal & River Trust charity, which cares for Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge, is to launch a three-week public consultation on Wednesday 9 September seeking community views about the long-term repair options for the reservoir.
Expert engineers from the Trust and specialist engineering design consultants Arup examined 13 different permanent repair options for the reservoir and have now narrowed these down to two potential designs.
Both involve the creation of new overflow spillway channels from the reservoir into the River Goyt. One option takes a new channel via the end of the Sailing Club carpark and the second option has a new spillway routed through the woodland and Memorial Park.
Under both options, the existing auxiliary spillway (damaged last summer) becomes redundant and is replaced with a grassy slope. The smaller original primary spillway near the Sailing Club will also be de-commissioned.
As part of the decision-making process, the Trust still needs to commission a number of ground investigation and environmental surveys. Discussions with near neighbours, including the Sailing Club and Whaley Bridge Athletic Football Club, will also play a role in arriving at a decision on the viability of each option.
The Trust will be guided by the best engineering advice but there are a number of ideas for community enhancements and the project team is keen to have the views of local residents about what they would like to see in the area.
Simon Bamford, Asset Improvement Director who is leading on the repair project for the Trust, explained: “Our aim has always been to keep local residents involved and informed. We appreciate the works to make safe the damaged auxiliary spillway have had a big impact on many residents, clubs and businesses, but we are delighted to announce these have now been completed.
“We appreciate that the second major phase of works due to start next year is likely to continue to cause some disruption and we do thank everyone for their patience and understanding.
“Keeping people safe is our top priority. As part of that we want to create the best 21st century solution for controlling the reservoir and enabling it to continue in its vital task of supplying water to the Peak Forest Canal. The consultation closes on 30 September and we hope as many local residents as possible will give us their views.”
Due to restrictions around coronavirus, the consultation will be mainly online but there will also be a chance to see the plans and discuss proposals with expert engineers at two (socially distanced) drop-in events to be held on Friday 18 September (2pm – 6pm) and Saturday 19 September (10am – 3pm) at the Transhipment Warehouse in the Whaley Bridge Canal Basin. No booking is required.
A final decision on the chosen repair option will be reached this autumn and work will begin in 2021. The high volume pumps will remain in the reservoir to keep the water levels very low until the end of the reservoir restoration project in about three years’ time.
For more details of the proposed repair options and to register your views in the public consultation, please go to the Canal & River Trust website: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/restoring-toddbrook-reservoir.