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New wave of protest at res drainage plan; Owner re-calculates level for Cupwith.

Byline: JOANNE DOUGLAS Local Government Reporter joanne.douglas@examiner.co.uk

PLANS to drain a Huddersfield reservoir are back on the agenda.

And the proposals are again expected to promote a protest.

The owner of Cupwith Reservoir is seeking consent for the discontinuation of the reservoir by reduction in its capacity.

In January, Kirklees councillors rejected plans to reduce the size of Cupwith Reservoir from 25,000m3 to 10,000m3. Now its owner, the Dartmouth Estate, has returned with a new plan to reduce it to below 25,000m3. After a hydrographic survey in March it revised the reservoir's existing volume to 28,920m3 but still wants to drain water from it.

The estate says it may be possible, subject to negotiation, to create a new footpath around the reservoir, but details are to be confirmed.

Pat Jones, of the Cupwith Reservoir Action Group (CRAG), said: "I thought they might come back again.

"We don't want to lose it at all, we'll reconvene the action group and see where we go from here."

She said a Bill going through Parliament was about preventing farmers from draining reservoirs and hoped there might be something in the Bill which could help the group.

The Dartmouth Estate had to come up with a plan to make Cupwith safer after the Environment Agency branded the spot dangerous.

Under the Reservoir Act 1975 the estate was ordered to carry out repairs to the most severely eroded areas upstream, repair the overflow channel walls and carry out other safety works.

Kirklees councillors on the Huddersfield planning committee ruled that "to discontinue the reservoir would result in a significant reduction in the surface area of water. The existing reservoir forms part of a valued landscape enjoyed by users of the network of public rights of way which run close to the site and the reduction in water would fail to conserve the visual amenity, intrinsic character and beauty of this area of countryside".

The committee said the adverse impacts of the development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh its benefits.

The reservoir was constructed in the 1800s to improve the water supply to local mills in the Slaithwaite area.

The latest application is open to public comment at Kirklees Council.

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| FIGHT: Save Cupwith reservoir campaigners paddle at the reservoir above Scammonden
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 9, 2013
Words:385
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