Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Scheme
The Environment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council have been working together for several years to develop proposals for a Tidal Barrier Scheme on the River Parrett, to protect Bridgwater and the surrounding communities from flooding. The Scheme will reduce tidal flood risk to 11,300 homes and 1,500 businesses. The whole scheme comprises; a Tidal Barrier structure on the River Parrett next to Express Park, Bridgwater, a substantial programme of works to improve existing downstream riverside flood banks and construct new secondary flood banks, and improved fish and eel passage at 12 upstream sites on both the rivers Parrett and Tone.
The Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Team (BTB) are pleased to confirm that the Secretary of State (Defra), having considered the details of the Scheme and all the representations made by interested parties and members of the public, has determined to make a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to authorise construction, operation, and maintenance of the Scheme.
What does this mean for the BTB scheme?
This is a major milestone for the Scheme and means they can now move forward to detailed design and construction of the barrier and its associated elements. The project is large and complex and there is still a great deal of work to be carried out ahead of construction. BTB are now moving into the detailed design phase; this includes: developing the outline design into a detailed design, technical reviews, updating environmental assessment and mitigation, selecting construction contractors, working details through with landowners, satisfying requirements of legal consents and confirming financial arrangements with partners, Defra and the Treasury.
BTB are pleased that work on the Scheme has been able to progress over the past 2 years, despite the challenges that Covid19 presents to government and the nation. They remain reliant on the assistance of several other organisations to maintain progress including determining other necessary consents and licences. They have received approval for the Outline Business Case from the Treasury which is another step forward in the programme.
BTB can now develop our delivery programme in line with TWAO, planning and environmental constraints together with funding approval. They anticipate starting construction in autumn 2022 with site establishment and then enabling work in spring 2023 and it is likely to take around 4 to 6 years to complete all elements of the scheme.
With the change in climate it is important that BTB address the predicted long-term flood risk to Bridgwater and they are pleased the TWAO decision allows us to move forward. The Environment Agency is committed to being Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and the scheme design, delivery and operation will focus on minimising carbon which includes programme and timing of works.
BTB are committed to keeping local communities, stakeholders and the public updated as the Scheme progresses through the detailed design stage into the construction stage. In addition to producing newsletters to report on progress, as plans become firmer and Covid19 restrictions allow, BTB anticipate holding exhibitions, drop-in sessions and other public participation events to keep people informed.
For more information on the scheme, visit the opens in a new windowSedgemoor District Council website, our Wessex Facebook page, or email us: [email protected]create new email