Consultation shows support for Bridgwater Tidal Barrier

Public feedback about possible locations for a Bridgwater Tidal Barrier is analysed in a new report.

The Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Short List of Options Consultation Response Final Report reveals general support for the idea of building a surge barrier across the River Parrett and a preference for a site to the north of Bridgwater, 500 metres upstream of Dunball Wharf. This site is known as Site 4.

Of the 78 people who gave responses to the public consultation last Autumn, 44 people favoured Site 4 – while 13 opted for Site 5, which is very close to Express Park.

The report compares different locations. It states: “Site 4 is a large barrier but could minimise overall flood risk to north Bridgwater, maximising opportunities for future growth. There are no space constraints to construction and there is a large storage volume in the channel upstream. The estimated total project costs are £65-80 million.

“Site 5 has no major disadvantages except the proximity to commercial development at Express Park and residential development at Chilton Trinity. It would work effectively for flood risk management and we consider that the environmental impacts can be mitigated. The estimated total project costs are £45-60 million.”

A further update about the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier is being given to the Board of Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) on Wednesday, 8 February. The SRA is using Growth Deal money from Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership to support the initial phases of this scheme, which will protect around 10,000 homes and 600 businesses.

More detailed assessments of Sites 4 and 5 are being made. Public consultation about the final preferred option will be held in summer 2017.

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