Fears sparked over reservoir

ASSURANCES over congestion and safety have been issued by Severn Trent officials – as the company plans a £30m renewal of Ambergate reservoir.

The 100-year-old reservoir supplies water to 600,000 homes in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

But owners Severn Trent say the underground concrete structure is in poor condition and needs replacing to safeguard the area’s water supply for the next 30 years.

The £30m project would see a new 90 megalitre reservoir built to the west of the current one in Ambergate by 2014.

Sever Trent Water (STW) officials met with villagers from Ambergate, Sawmills and Bullbridge last week after they raised concerns over the increase in lorry movements along the road as the new reservoir is dug out from an area of woodland.

Secretary for the Bullbridge and Sawmills Area Civic Society (BASACS), which organised the meeting, Gill Hirst, said: “Actually it was a very positive meeting, they really listened to a lot of what we had to say. We are hoping to talk to them again at the end of this year and into the new year.”

Severn Trent predict 35 lorries will enter and exit the new reservoir construction site every hour if it gets the go-ahead to start work there in 2012 as planned.

Gill said BASACS were concerned about the noise this would create and the stress it would cause on a grade-two listed bridge which runs across the disused section of Cromford Canal in Bullbridge.

But STW, which is holding a series of consultations throughout the area, say it will attempt to keep as much as possible of the removed soil on site to minimise lorry movements.

On October 11, STW officials met with Ripley Town councillors to answer questions about the proposals.

In a presentation to the chamber at its October meeting, Duncan Wratten of STW said it would consider cllr Maurice Gent’s suggestions of placing temporary traffic lights on Bullbridge Hill.

Mr Wratten also said local building contractors could benefit from the scheme as it aims to out-source some of the work to nearby firms. In total STW say 100 people will be employed on site.

STW plan to submit a planning application for the project in February 2012.

Severn Trent officials were faced with questions from Ripley town councillors as part of its series of consultations within the area.