Following extensive public consultation, plans have been submitted to Bath & North East Somerset Council for a £6.2 million project to defend against flooding and reconnect the River Avon to Bath city centre.
The Bath Quays Waterside Project would put in place essential flood mitigation and defence works to the north and south banks of the river between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge that address the negative impacts of climate change.
The Council is working with the Environment Agency on the major infrastructure proposal, which would provide flood defences for parts of Bath’s city centre and begin to improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists in the riverside environment. Subject to approval, it is hoped to begin work in 2015.
The project would not increase flood risk up or downstream and would not stop other flood alleviation works going ahead elsewhere in the city. The Council is working with the Environment Agency to re-evaluate options inside and outside of the new regeneration areas to ensure flood risk in Bath is managed as effectively as possible. This includes considering the future roles and operation of Pulteney and Twerton gates.
Extensive public consultation took place in April and May this year to obtain feedback from local residents, businesses and other interested parties. The project team consulted with landowners and affected parties adjoining the scheme, along with a number of statutory bodies including Natural England, English Heritage and Canals & River Trust along with representative stakeholders – including CycleBath, Sustrans, Bath Preservation Trust, Bath Chamber of Commerce and the Initiative in B&NES.
As a result of the public consultation, the following changes have been made:
· Amendments to the Green Park Road proposals include a change in the Avon Street car park exit location and the location of Corn Street pedestrian crossing.
· Various changes to proposed flood protection works to existing buildings on south river bank and adjacent flood walls, and to
· Proposed tree species on north bank including an increase in the range of maturity of trees to be planted.
The project could support the delivery of around 2,500 new homes, up to 650,000 square feet of new workspace and 9,000 new jobs for local people as part of the Bath City Riverside Enterprise Area. It would overcome one of the major stumbling blocks to unlocking the potential of brownfield sites along the River Avon – the possibility of flooding.
The plans also aim to reduce existing and future flood risk to the Lower Bristol Road and over 100 residential and commercial properties on the South side of the river through the provision of new flood defences.
To view and comment upon the planning application, go to: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathQuaysWatersidePlans.
To learn more about the project, visit: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/bathquayswaterside.
The Bath Quays Waterside Project would form the first and critical stage in enabling regeneration of derelict and low-value land to create a new quarter called Innovation Quays, which, in turn, would deliver an extension to the city centre, creating a new business district enabling jobs and business growth.
Together, Bath Quays Waterside and Innovation Quays offer the potential to radically transform this area through the creation of a major new waterside employment destination. The proposals include upper and lower level river promenades, defined cycle and walking routes, natural landscaping and ecology, a large riverside public space offering opportunities for outdoor performances and events, and greater opportunities to hold activities on the river. The new environment would provide an attractive and playful waterfront for Bath that could be used and enjoyed by thousands of people all year round.
In summary, the plan would:
• Provide the flood mitigation to enable the redevelopment of the Bath Quays and Manvers Street sites forming the first step towards the realisation of the Bath City Riverside Enterprise Area and the Council’s ‘Innovation Quays’ project.
Significantly widen the north bank to up to 15m wide at the lower tow-path level between Churchill Bridge and Green Park to accommodate water that would currently flow down the Lower Bristol Road in flood conditions. This would require that Green Park Road is diverted away from the riverside northwards to link up with Corn Street creating the major opportunity to open up the riverside to the city.
Improve linkages for cyclists and pedestrians along the north bank of the River and between the riverside path and the City Centre.
Remove trees along the southern verge of Green Park Road and along the new road alignment and replace them with new planting.
Create a more amenable route for pedestrians and cyclists through landscaping works and path realignment along the southern perimeter of Green Park. ;
Install new flood walls and raise existing river walls on the south side of the river between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge;
Improve flood defences on existing buildings fronting onto the river along Lower Bristol Road.
The Council and Environment Agency propose to fund these essential works with a combination of Revolving Infrastructure funding made available by West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, and Local Levy and Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding.