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Fill dispute delays dam work

CRUCIAL STRENGTHENING of a Peak District dam is threatened with delay following a row over quarrying for fill material.

Severn Trent Water, owner of the 43m high Ladybower earth dam which blocks off the Derwent Valley, wants to source 400,000t of gritstone locally. But local residents claim that the quarry, which falls within a National Park, would permanently scar the landscape. Planning permission for the quarry has now been deferred by the Peak District National Park Planning Authority. Severn Trent claims this could push strengthening work into next year.

The 54 year old dam's average 2mm/year settlement has increased fivefold since the base was exposed during the 1995 drought. Engineers plan to raise the dam 3m and reinforce its downstream face with a 10m layer of fill in line with 1996 ICE reservoir guidelines.

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