The Bridgwater Tidal Barrier and associated downstream defences will protect over 10,000 homes and 600 businesses in the local area from tidal flooding.
The project team held a public exhibition event on Friday 7th December 2018 at St Mary's Church, Bridgwater. This provided an update on proposals for the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Scheme. Thank you to those who attended the event and provided feedback. The consultation material from the event and the feedback form is available to download below. We would appreciate any further comments by 1st February 2019.
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 over 10,000 homes and 600 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.
Construction and Access Routes
These are the early proposals for access and construction for the barrier and associated downstream defences. They are based on the initial outline design and will be subject to change as the design is further developed. The methods described in the assessments are based on experience of previous schemes and current best practice.