Boston Barrier - Consultation Response01 March 2016
IWA has responded with concern to the Environment Agency’s consultation on the Draft Boston Barrier Environmental Statement. If the current proposals are included in the Boston Barrier Transport & Works Act Order and were implemented there would be a significant adverse impact to navigation in the Haven, and missed opportunities to improve and extend navigation in the wider area.
Among IWA’s concerns is the missed opportunity to improve navigation through water level management. The building of the flood barrier could create the opportunity to impound the water on the currently tidal section of the Witham through Boston, and would facilitate easier navigation between Grand Sluice Lock on the River Witham and EA's new Black Sluice Lock which gives access to the Black Sluice Navigation. Maintaining water levels would bring economic benefits for Boston from a vibrant and thriving waterfront. This aspect of the original project has been dropped, and a big opportunity has been missed to do more than just prevent a tidal surge.
IWA also has concerns around new constraints on navigation in the Haven, downstream from Boston, that the barrier would create, both during construction and once the barrier was in operation. IWA will be a statutory consultee when the Transport & Works Order is published later this year.
Read IWA's full response to the consultation here.
Barrier site: The photo below shows the barrier site at high tide. The new barrier will fit across the channel more or less between the grain elevator on the left on the Port of Boston quay, and on the right (which will be demolished). The channel at the barrier site is about 50m wide, and when complete the barrier will occupy the right hand side of the photo, with its sides about 2m higher than the current right hand side floodbank. The ‘gap’ to go through will be 25m wide, and the spare bit on the left hand side will be sheet piled off and filled in as currently planned. During construction, a cofferdam will occupy the right hand side side of the channel, leaving a gap 18m wide on the other side where boats will go through. EA plans one-way working of boats during construction and, later, during barrier operation.