Views wanted on Bridgwater Tidal Barrier site

Two sites have emerged as the most promising locations for a Bridgwater Tidal Barrier – and people are now being urged to say which they prefer, and why.

One possible site is on the River Parrett between Dunball Wharf and Express Park in Bridgwater: another is on the Parrett near Mallard Court on Express Park.

Comments are wanted by Monday, 31 October.

At a public consultation event in March, seven possible sites were presented. After public feedback was considered, and more work done, the number was narrowed down to five.

An assessment of all these five places, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages, was presented at a public consultation session in Bridgwater Arts Centre on Thursday, 15 September and at an event in the Angel Place Shopping Centre in Bridgwater on Saturday, September 24: get the full set of Bridgwater Tidal Barrier consultation exhibition boards (7MB).

The two sites picked out for special consideration are known as Locations 4 and 5 – and people are being urged to give their views, by Monday 31 October, so that one site can go forward for more detailed analysis. Sites 4 and 5 are pictured below in an excerpt from an exhibition board. (Text continues below images).

Aerial view of possible Bridgwater Tidal Barrier sites 4 and 5 with comparison of their merits

A tidal surge barrier on the River Parrett (estuary pictured above, looking towards Bridgwater) is needed to protect approximately 10,000 properties and over 600 businesses in Bridgwater for the next 100 years or more.

It’s a key element of Somerset’s 20-Year Flood Action Plan, a plan now overseen and co-ordinated by Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA).

The Environment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council are working together to deliver a Bridgwater Tidal Barrier by 2024, subject to funding and approvals.

The project is supported by the SRA using Growth Deal money from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. Consultants CH2MHill are exploring various technical options.

Work on the shortlisted locations, and downstream defences, has so far included hydraulic modelling, concept design, costing, and economic, geotechnical and environmental assessment.

Anyone who would like further information but is unable to attend either public event, please email: Bridgwater.barrier@environment-agency.gov.uk

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