Toddbrook Reservoir: Second public consultation in June

Whaley Bridge residents are invited to find out more about the Canal & River Trust’s plans for the permanent repair of Toddbrook Reservoir at a second public consultation, to be held in June.

Details of the proposed repair plan were released by the charity in March and from 4 June – 25 June, local organisations, close neighbours and other interested parties will get a chance to discuss the chosen route for a new spillway and give their views on the wider action plan for the reservoir’s restoration.

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The Trust, which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways, will be hosting a three week online consultation, accessed from the Trust’s website from 4 June, supplemented by a drop-in event to be held at the Transhipment Warehouse in Whaley Bridge on Friday 18 June (2pm-6pm) and Saturday 19 June (10am – 3pm). No booking required.

The Trust’s repair plan involves the construction of a new side channel weir, ‘tumble bay’, spillway channel and stilling basin on the northern, Sailing Club side of the reservoir dam, at an estimated cost of between £12 – £16 million. The auxiliary spillway, damaged in summer 2019, will be substantially removed and the dam slope grassed. Subject to planning permission, work is likely to start this winter and take around two years to complete.

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The long-term repair design was informed by feedback from residents who took part in the first public consultation last September, when two different options were put forward from an initial 13 potential proposals which had been considered.

Working with specialist engineering design consultants Arup, the Trust’s project team has since carried out extensive technical investigations and design work, listened to all feedback and tried to accommodate the best engineering solution within the landscape.

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Daniel Greenhalgh, Canal & River Trust North West Director, said: “More than 300 people submitted feedback at our first public consultation last September and this has played a significant role in helping to shape the chosen repair plan we now put forward. Again in June, we would love to hear from people, either online or in person with their feedback.

“Repairing the reservoir is a huge engineering challenge and public safety is our top priority. The new spillway will unfortunately require the relocation of the Sailing Club’s clubhouse and slipway. We appreciate this will have a substantial impact on the club but we are committed to working with them to ensure we provide suitable replacement buildings, boat storage and a slipway to support their continued use and enjoyment of the reservoir once the project is complete.

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“The proposed plan will also require some changes to the northern area of the park. The play area will have to be re-positioned, and we will carry out landscaping works to ensure that when finished, the park remains an enjoyable and open public space. We are working to develop our plans to ensure this happens as sensitively as possible.

“During the construction phase, part of the park will unfortunately have to be closed, but we hope to be able to move some of the play equipment to an alternative location so it can continue to be available.

Toddbrook Reservoir, which supplies water to the Peak Forest and Macclesfield canals, has been out of action and near empty of water since the spillway was damaged. Ahead of the permanent repair work, the Trust and its contractor Kier carried out a major project to make safe the damaged spillway and add a protective waterproof nib to the dam crest. High volume pumps will remain in the reservoir to manage water levels until the end of the restoration project.

To access the public consultation from 4 June and to view more detailed information about the repair plans, please go to the Canal & River Trust website: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/restoring-toddbrook-reservoir.

Feedback can also be given by emailing the project team at toddbrook@canalrivertrust.org.uk, calling 0808 196 8809, or writing to Freepost CRT Toddbrook.

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