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Bridgwater Tidal Barrier - Background Information

The page includes background information on the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier, including previous consultation material and documents prepared prior to submission on the Transport and Works Act application.

Read more on the background to the project below. To contact a member of the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier project team, email:

To view the Transport and Works Act application please see the following web page.


Environment Agency Somerset Rivers Authority Heart of the South West
HM Government

The flooding in early 2014 led a partnership of key authorities to prepare a '20 Year Flood Action Plan'. The Plan has a clear objective of building a barrier to protect Bridgwater by 2024.  The Environment Agency is working in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council (SDC) and supported by the Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The current flood defences for Bridgwater protect 11,500 homes and 1,500 businesses in the local area. Previous investigations concluded that the best approach from a flood risk management perspective was to maintain the existing defences, before supplementing them at some point with a barrier constructed somewhere between Chilton Trinity and Dunball.

The flood events since 2012 together with a review of technical reports support previous findings that a tidal surge barrier would provide long term tidal flood protection and has the best prospect of being delivered.  This type of barrier is designed to close when required to exclude extreme tides, similar to the Thames Barrier. The construction of any tidal barrier in the Parrett estuary will be a large and complex project that requires careful planning.

The Bridgwater tidal barrier and downstream defence works are important to support the sustainable growth and development of the town and to build business confidence. The barrier will be a large structure across the River Parrett between Express Park and Chilton Trinity. It will have two 'vertical lift' gates that would be closed when a very high tide is expected to prevent the tide travelling upstream and overtopping defences and flooding property and infrastructure.

Downstream of the barrier the existing flood defences either side of the River Parrett will be maintained or raised to ensure that the barrier is not bypassed by flows in the floodplain and that flood risk is not increased to property and agricultural land. A second set of banks will also be provided at the edges of the floodplain.

The barrier and the downstream defences are large construction projects. As such, whilst we are working hard to minimise impacts, there will be some disruption.

Previous Consultation Information and Documents

View previous consultation information and other documents.

Strategic Flood Risk Documents

View strategic documents relevant to the tidal barrier.

Previous Landowner Information

Provides further information for landowners.