March 17, 2017
Location of proposed tidal barrier in River Parrett is announced

The location of a new tidal barrier to be built in the River Parrett several miles upstream from Burnham-On-Sea has been announced this week.

Sedgemoor District Council has identified the site of the new tidal barrier following a period of public consultation.

Claire Faun, council spokeswoman, said: "Following the consultation that was held last autumn, which looked at two potential sites for the proposed Bridgwater Barrier, all responses have now been considered."

"Following a technical assessment and the consideration of all points raised, site 5 between Express Park and Chilton Trinity village has been selected as the optimum site for the Tidal Barrier."

"The optimum design for the barrier is a structure with two vertical lift gates."

"The next steps are to develop ideas for the appearance of the barrier and landscaping. These ideas will be put out to consultation for anyone to have their say in the late summer/early autumn."

She added that during the consultation period, social media posts were viewed over 3,700 times and approximately 150 people attended the meetings and events held for the public, stakeholders and local businesses. "A total of 78 responses to the consultation were received indicating that there is continued support for a barrier. Over half of the 78 responses favoured this site as the preferred location for the barrier," she added.

Several reasons for selecting the location have been identified. "We have the greatest confidence of achieving the permissions for construction at this location and it is the least cost site. It leaves the narrowest point in the river available for any future road crossing and northern by-pass."

"There are several access points available for construction, to help manage disruption. There is less risk of unpredictable siltation issues near Dunball Wharf, which would require costly maintenance dredging."

"It fits with aspirations in Sedgemoor District Council's Green Network Plan for a pedestrian bridge linking Chilton Trinity with Express Park. This aligns with the principles and aims of the Bridgwater Vision."

The construction of a tidal barrier is a key component of the 20-year flood action plan for Somerset. The Environment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council are working in partnership to deliver the barrier by 2024, subject to funding and approvals.


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