£26million Bridgwater Barrage discussed in flood action plan

£26million Bridgwater Barrage discussed in flood action plan

£26million Bridgwater Barrage discussed in flood action plan

First published in News This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

A CENTURIES-old idea to build a barrier – which would today cost £26million – is being considered to help prevent Bridgwater from flooding.

The Bridgwater Barrage has been discussed in one form or another since as far back as the 1600s – the latest version is in the Bridgwater Vision document.

But now the proposal is being looked at more closely as part of a 20-year flood action plan.

Dan Rogerson, parliamentary under secretary of state at Defra, visited bosses at Sedgemoor District Council and representatives from other key bodies in Bridgwater last week to discuss ideas for the plan so far.

A spokesman for the council told the Mercury: “The partners involved in putting the plan together say much work has been done over the past five weeks from partner organisations.

“We have drawn upon studies and previously discussed ideas from across the area.

“Within the next week, we shall be fine-tuning and drawing up clear and concise conclusions to present to the Minister on Thursday, March 6.”

But so far just £609,000 has been raised towards the cost of the £26million barrage. The project is being funded by a roof tax made up of financial contributions from developers.

The spokesman added: “It will be a massive engineering project. It would be an EA decision to bring forward or not, as it is a flood defence. We are collecting a tariff from developers which will contribute towards the costs – so far we have £609,000 in that pot.”

Although dredging rivers and land management will feature, the district council and the Environment Agency are keen to ensure a ‘long term engineering solution’ remains at the core of the report Defra is drawing up and Somerset County Council is co-ordinating for the Government.

Comments (6)

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1:50pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Alex@SDA says...

Would such a barrage reduce the amount of silt backfilling the Parret? I don't know myself whether the mud comes up the river, or down from the levels. I presume it comes up with the tide, but if not I stand to be corrected. If so, will reduce the dredging need and be cost effective in the long term.

Moving on. We keep hearing that B/Water needs a by-pass, and of course the exiting traffic problems will be exacerbated when the build of Hinkley C kicks in.

Therefore would it not be a good idea to incorporate a road crossing with such a barrage, and utilise this as part of a Bridgwater relief road. Win Win Situation.

Such an opportunity and will be probably wasted and a shame not to grasp it. Trouble is nobody in the right circles would even consider such a simple solution to ease two problems, plus would make it future proof.
Would such a barrage reduce the amount of silt backfilling the Parret? I don't know myself whether the mud comes up the river, or down from the levels. I presume it comes up with the tide, but if not I stand to be corrected. If so, will reduce the dredging need and be cost effective in the long term. Moving on. We keep hearing that B/Water needs a by-pass, and of course the exiting traffic problems will be exacerbated when the build of Hinkley C kicks in. Therefore would it not be a good idea to incorporate a road crossing with such a barrage, and utilise this as part of a Bridgwater relief road. Win Win Situation. Such an opportunity and will be probably wasted and a shame not to grasp it. Trouble is nobody in the right circles would even consider such a simple solution to ease two problems, plus would make it future proof. Alex@SDA
  • Score: 6

8:48am Thu 6 Mar 14

awayswing says...

I cannot bring myself to believe that this government will spend £26 million on Bridgwater.They would not spend that sort of money on anywhere other than London.
I cannot bring myself to believe that this government will spend £26 million on Bridgwater.They would not spend that sort of money on anywhere other than London. awayswing
  • Score: 1

1:03pm Thu 6 Mar 14

The Lodger says...

Ok, now EDF have their chance to wake up to working with the EA, SDC and all interested parties to build the much needed B/W bypass. You will not get another chance to have an open door like this.
Barrage + bypass = the only way forward.
Ok, now EDF have their chance to wake up to working with the EA, SDC and all interested parties to build the much needed B/W bypass. You will not get another chance to have an open door like this. Barrage + bypass = the only way forward. The Lodger
  • Score: 1

4:24pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Somerset Flower says...

I think it will be a long time if ever a barrage is built but I think it would be better to build a permanent pumping station at Dunball, rather than just keeping the temporary ones. Let's hope they do.
I think it will be a long time if ever a barrage is built but I think it would be better to build a permanent pumping station at Dunball, rather than just keeping the temporary ones. Let's hope they do. Somerset Flower
  • Score: 1

5:13pm Thu 6 Mar 14

MR.GOF says...

we need both of them, pump`s and the barrage at dunball,and if we don`t the same will happen all over again.....
50 million pounds a day we give to the EU,so 26 million is cheap....
we need both of them, pump`s and the barrage at dunball,and if we don`t the same will happen all over again..... 50 million pounds a day we give to the EU,so 26 million is cheap.... MR.GOF
  • Score: 3

5:51pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Somerset Flower says...

I suppose if they built the barrage downstream from Dunball they may not need the pumps as they would be able to discharge naturally for much longer periods?
I suppose if they built the barrage downstream from Dunball they may not need the pumps as they would be able to discharge naturally for much longer periods? Somerset Flower
  • Score: -1

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