Buzza Reservoir Refurbishment Plan Passed

Buzza reservoir

Planners have approved a scheme to refurbish Buzza Hill reservoir, but there was sensitivity about the timing of the work.

The Council’s Technical Services Department want to strengthen the walls of the reservoir by thickening them. However, to maintain the water volume, they need to make it higher by 75cm.

There would also be the removal of existing pipework and a reduction in the number of manholes on the site.

In his report, the Chief Planning Officer, Craig Dryden, said that, due to its age and construction, the reservoir is in poor condition and the work’s needed to ensure its viability.

Craig said the increase in height was acceptable, with a “slight adverse effect on the environment” being outweighed by the benefits to the island’s water supply.

Gordon Bilsborough agreed, saying it was a good application and needed.

However, Roy Duncan pointed out the condition restricting the work to taking place between 1st October and the 1st March.

He felt it would be better to start later, after 1st November, as visitors are still here in October.

Several local residents wrote letters asking for a later start. Mr and Mrs Jones asked for the work to start after the end of October, as it would be disruptive to their holiday let as well as their own property. Similarly, Mr and Mrs Larn and Mary Ratcliffe wanted it put back.

Craig said works needed to proceed and it was difficult to predict how long they would take.

Indications from the Chief Technical Officer, Neville Gardner, was that work would start later in October. Craig said it wouldn’t be ‘overly invasive’ and will be subject to conditions protecting the amenities of neighbouring properties.

But Craig said the water is needed during peak season which is why its taking place during winter.

Richard McCarthy couldn’t see why work can’t start at end of October, rather than beginning.

He said that the Porthcressa development would be completed and, if the reservoir work goes on into the beginning of March, then that “wouldn’t be the end of the world.”

The application was passed with the starting time for works amended.