Review into dam collapse at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge due to be published soon

The Environment Secretary has confirmed the inquiry into the Toddbrook Reservoir dam collapse last summer has been concluded and a report will be released ‘at the earliest possible opportunity’.

By Ben McVay
Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 10:42 am

In August, about 1,500 people were evacuated from their Whaley Bridge homes when the dam partially collapsed - raising fears that millions of tonnes of water might flood the area.

Engineers pumped water from the 300-million-gallon reservoir amid fears it could burst and swamp the town.

The review into the failing dam wall - announced in October - was led by former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers Professor David Balmforth.

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Approximately 1,500 residents of the town's 6,500 population were forced to leave their homes.Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

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Though the findings of the inquiry have not yet been released, while the emergency was ongoing experts suggested the volume of water was simply too much for the Georgian structure.

Environment Minister George Eustice confirmed the report’s imminent release in the House of Commons during a question from High Peak MP Robert Largan.

Mr Largan said: "Climate change is leading to more frequent extreme weather.

“The weather last summer led to the evacuation of Whaley Bridge following structural failures of the Toddbrook Reservoir dam.

“Disappointingly the inquiry into the incident is yet to report.

“Will my right hon friend assure me that the report will be published as soon as possible so that we can learn the lessons?

“The people of Whaley Bridge deserve answers."

Mr Eustice replied: “I can give my hon friend that undertaking - the review has now concluded and the report will be released at the earliest possible opportunity."