Bradford Council in Yorkshire wants to regenerate the weir on the river Aire in Saltaire to help meet its 2020 renewable energy targets. At an approximate cost of £1.2M, the scheme will produce 371MWh of hydro power a year using an archimedes screw-type turbine and fish pass.

In its e-petition, Baildon Friends of the Earth requests that Bradford Council establishes the Saltaire hydro power scheme as soon as possible. The group says that Bradford needs a mix of its own renewable energy sources to reduce importation of expensive electricity and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Sataire hydro power will be unobtrusive and an additional attraction for visitors, while subtly developing the future distinguished industrial technology of the World Heritage Site, Friends of the Earth added. Those opposed to Bradford Council’s first projected hydroelectric installation believe it would ‘ride roughshod’ over the protected village of Saltaire, which is viewed as one of the district’s most important historical assets.

Also in Yorkshire, another local group is fighting to preserve the Victorian architecture at Butterley reservoir’s stone spillway. Project owners Yorkshire Water plan to remove and replace the spillway in order to fulfil legal obligations to ensure the structure is still operationally fit for purpose.

Yorkshire Water says that a huge amount of planning and consultation has taken place and it has engaged with local stakeholders and residents, along with English Heritage. However the proposed safety improvements are required to ensure compliance under the Reservoir Safety Act 1975. Eight options had been considered for this iconic landmark and replacing the spillway was the preferred one.

Yorkshire Water said that it will ensure the new spillway replicates the existing structure as much as possible. In a statement the company added: ‘The revised plans will see us going well beyond what we’re required to do, with the additional changes costing an additional £1.2M, taking the overall cost of the scheme to nearly £6M. These changes include re-using the stones from the spillway to clad the outside walls of the spillway, staining the concrete floor of the spillway on completion, stepping the spillway every 300mm, re-using the existing coping stones and taking a mould of the old wall to ensure that the new one blends in as much as possible.’

Built between 1891 and 1906, the spillway has been described as an example of beautiful industrial architecture. The Grade II listed reservoir has been included on the Victorian Society’s list of ten of the most endangered buildings in England and Wales.