Upgrade Butterley Spillway from Grade II to II* Listing
Butterley Spillway is an overflow structure situated on the earth dam embankment of Butterley Reservoir in the village of Marsden, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. The spillway is at present Grade II Listed and is the only spillway listed in its own right in the country. The spillway is at risk of demolition by its owners, Yorkshire Water, who wish to replace it with a larger concrete structure. Planning and Listed Building Consent applications are currently being considered by Kirklees Council. The Save Butterley Spillway campaign group have applied to English Heritage to upgrade the listing status from Grade II to Grade II*. Grade II buildings are nationally important and of special interest, whereas Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. Upgrading the designation will make the regulatory framework tougher when the current planning applications go before Kirklees Council. The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that the more important a Listed Building is the more exceptional its loss should be. Upgrading the listing would place the spillway in the top 5% of all Listed Buildings in the country. The upgrade application seeks to include the wider reservoir infrastructure in the listing including the scour portico, valve house, walls, bridge, the embankment and flights of steps on the embankment and up the hillsides in the vicinity of the reservoir. This petition will be sent to English Heritage to demonstrate the level of support for the upgrade application. This is why we think the spillway listing should be upgraded:- 1. Historic Water Management Assets are a strategic priority of English Heritage's under the National Heritage Protection Plan; 2. our nation’s water management heritage is little understood and celebrated and by recognising the importance of this reservoir’s unique assets it is hoped that that trend can begin to change; 3. the spillway and other reservoir assets form an essential element in the story of the development and culture of the village of Marsden and the wider industrial revolution in the UK and warrant higher protection, recognition and study; 4. the scale of Butterley makes it unique within the UK; 5. the scale, design and construction of the spillway and other built elements represent the best of Victorian engineering, design and craftsmanship; 6. the reservoir is one of the best examples of the work of its much celebrated designer, Thomas Hawksley; 7. the relationship of the carefully designed reservoir and embankment to the wider moorland landscape adds to the design aesthetics of the structure; 8. the spillway has an important acoustic value as well as visual; 9. the reservoir is preserved in an almost original condition which is rare given its ongoing functional use; 10. the reservoir is very much part of the culture of the village of Marsden, particularly given the open views and its proximity, and is well loved and celebrated by locals and visitors to the area; 11. the reservoir and particularly the spillway, forms an important part of the village’s tourism offer and this has the potential to be developed further; 12. the spillway and other reservoir infrastructure collectively are of such unique design, craftsmanship, quality and setting that they are distinguishable and superior to other Listed spillways and reservoirs; 13. the spillway is under immediate threat of demolition and taking into account that this is a test case between Listed Building and Reservoir legislation it is considered that a higher level of heritage regulation is required to ensure that due weight can be given to the heritage considerations given that safety considerations should, quite rightly, be given significant weight, and 14. the upgrade application is supported by Kirklees Council as well as national heritage organisations including the Victorian Society, the Council for British Archaeology and the Association of Industrial Archaeology.