Massic reservoir bid sparks road safety fears

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PLANS to create two new reservoirs to the west of the current one in Ambergate have been submitted to Amber Valley Borough Council.

Owners Severn Trent say the concrete structure of the current reservoir at Ambergate is in poor condition and needs replacing to safeguard the area’s water supply for the next 30 years.

Local people say they accept the need for the massive works, which are expected to last four years, but have voiced concerns about road safety issues.

Amber Valley borough councillor Maurice Gent said: “People accept that it’s necessary but the main problem is access to the site. People are concerned about the safety of children going to school. The contractors promised us that there would be no heavy lorries on the roads when children go to and from school.

“But I am a bit worried about lorries coming down that hill past Bullbridge estate – the only place children can play is on the road as there’s no recreation ground. Whichever way the lorries go at the bottom they are going to encounter heavy traffic.”

Cllr Gent has asked for temporary crossings in Ridgeway and opposite Sawmills Village Hall. He said: “If we let this slide we could end up with fatalities. The cost doesn’t want to be in human lives.”

He added: “The reservoir is essential for that part of Derbyshire. The consultation process has been good.”

The reservoir at Ambergate currently provides drinking water to about 590,000 people in the East Midlands. The two new covered reservoirs will have a combined capacity of 140 million litres. The proposed works on the 28.3-acre site west of Fritchley also includes ancillary works, the temporary change of use of a residential bungalow to office use, the creation of temporary spoil storage areas and landscape restoration, a temporary haul road linking the project site to The Common and the existing road network, as well as off-site highway improvements at the junction of the A610 and Bullbridge Hill.

The work, which is expected to begin in 2013 and finish by 2017, will be carried out in two phases - construction of the first reservoir over two years followed by the decommissioning of the existing reservoir and construction of a second covered reservoir. ST say upon completion the land will be restored and reinstated “as much of its former environmental character as possible.”

A planning application has been made to Amber Valley but no date has been set for a decision.