New plans to help workers at a power company safely clear large amounts of rubbish and debris collecting at Belper Weir have been put together.
The works are needed to clear household and contruction-site waste as well as trees and vegetation that has built up against the sluice gates.
Large amounts of rubbish stop water flowing through the gates efficiently - and that can prevent electricity being produced at the hydroelectric plant inside Belper mill, which is run by Duffield firm Derwent Hydroelectric.
Last October, maintenance on the gates prompted unusual sights in Belper when the River Derwent had to be partly drained.
However, it is thought the clearance and extra safety features, which include a temporary crane, as well as restraints, special bolts and steel wires, could be installed without lowering the river level again.
In a planning application to Amber Valley Borough Council asking permission for the works to be carried out, a spokesman for Derwent Hydroelectric said the maintenance works on the gates was essential.
“These works are not only operational for the purposes of running the hydroelectric turbines at the mills but at part of our commitment to maintaing the flood gates, river levels and level of water flowing over the weir to the requirements of the Environment Agency,” the application said.
The hydroelectric power generator, which was installed at the mill in 1998 by the company, produces 350kW of power which is fed into the National Grid.