The signing of a Transport and Works Act Order provides permission for construction to go ahead of this new tidal barrier in Somerset. The proposals for the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Scheme have been developed, from an early stage, to minimise adverse impacts on the environment, land use, use of the river and the local community.
The £100m Bridgwater tidal barrier provides better protection of infrastructure, homes, schools and businesses in the town and surrounding areas.
This major infrastructure project, with architectural designs by Fereday Pollard will function similarly to the Thames Barrier is anticipated to be built from low carbon concrete.
The design of the barrier consists of two moveable gates on the River Parrett, along with new flood defence embankments and improvements to existing embankments downstream of the barrier.
The scheme could also bring a number of environmental benefits, including the creation of wetland habitats, improvements to fish passes and eel passes on the Parrett and the Tone to help boost fish numbers and a cycle and footbridge at the barrier to encourage active travel.
The construction of the tidal barrier is a key component of a 20 Year Flood Action Plan, which was developed after the 2014 Somerset Levels flooding.
Fereday Pollard have developed the designs with Jacobs and the Environment Agency who have been tasked with developing proposals and securing funding for a barrier which can be operational by 2024.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
"This is an important step forward in the delivery of one of the most complex and significant flood defences in the country."
"The £100 million Bridgwater Barrier is a significant investment in Somerset, protecting nearly 13,000 homes and helping unlock growth opportunities in the region."
Rachel Burden, Wessex Flood and Coastal Risk Manager at the Environment Agency said:
"This is a significant milestone for one of the biggest flood defence schemes in the country."