What future for Pulteney Bridge flood gate?

What future for Pulteney Bridge flood gate?

The future of the flood gates at Twerton and Pulteney Bridge could be a short one as a newly funded £50,000 B&NES  flood management project with the Environment Agency will be looking at all the options as the structures reach the end of their life.

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Pulteney flood gate

The local authority is proposing to allocate up to £150,000 to support projects to improve the river corridor in Bath over the next year.

This will  includes developing options and a business case for the two gates, both of which, constructed as part of Bath’s flood alleviation scheme in the early 1970s, are now getting a little old.

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It may be art but is the flood gate still useful?

The Twerton flood gates continue to protect around 200 Bath properties from flood risk.

This is the second part of a phased city-wide flood management strategy, in partnership with the Environment Agency. The phase one flood alleviation scheme is now under construction at Bath Quays Waterside; the design includes upper and lower level river promenades, natural landscaping and a new large riverside public space. The new environment will provide an attractive waterfront for Bath that can be used and enjoyed by thousands of people all year round. 

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How the river bank will be re-shaped.

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Work underway on re-shaping river bank.

A detailed business case will now be prepared with the Environment Agency, to unlock up to £5 million funding to deliver this phase 2 project. For an updates see www.bathnes.gov.uk/riverandcanal

Cllr Liz Richardson, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Planning, said “The Council is working in close partnership with the Environment Agency to put together a business case aimed at accessing £5 million of Government funding to help manage flood risk in Bath. 

Ed Lockington from the Environment Agency said: “Building upon the successful partnership developed through the Bath Quays Waterside project, it’s great to be progressing further work to manage flood risk in Bath”.

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River Avon at Bath Quays Waterside site

The Council has also agreed to develop a business case to re-open the Pulteney moorings, between Pulteney Bridge and North Parade Bridge, which it is hoped, will lead to an £80,000 investment in River Avon moorings on Council-owned land. This would include the additional safety improvements needed before the Pulteney moorings can be re-opened for boaters.

The Council has already spent over £150,000 on safety works in accordance with an independent Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) assessment, including putting in new railings, access gates and river safety cabinets. In addition there will be considerable investment from the Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency.

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Looking up the River Avon towards Pulteney Bridge and Weir.

£20,000 has also been earmarked by the Council to contribute towards a Bat Habitat Strategy for development sites within the Enterprise Area. This will help to meet the planning requirements from Natural England, the Government body responsible for looking after biodiversity and nature. 

Alongside this, a Water Space Study, looking at new ways to use the river and canal system around Bath, is underway. Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, and Wessex Water are working together in the jointly-funded study, to identify projects to transform and revitalise the waterways along the River Avon between Bath and Keynsham, and along the Kennet and Avon Canal between Deep Lock and Dundas Aqueduct 

The study will not focus on strategic flood projects, but will instead look at all other aspects impacting on the river and canal, including boat moorings, river navigation by boats, leisure and recreation opportunities and wider wildlife and habitat enhancements. You can see the results of the community engagement and project ideas put forward to date on the website: www.waterspacebath.org.uk

Reading this report, Dan Brown of www.bathintime.co.uk  reminds me – with one of his fantastic images – that there were plans to build a restaurant on top of the Pulteney Weir flood gate.

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An artist’s impression for a restaurant on the platform on Pulteney Sluice, 24 April 1985. © Bath in Time

Says Dan: ‘In 1973 a prospectus invited tenders to develop the site as a licensed premises or a restaurant. It also stated that planning permission was granted in 1969 and that the platform was designed to support a full restaurant development. This seems to have resurfaced again in 1985 when this was discussed again. It remains an ugly empty eyesore.’

 Meanwhile, Cllr Martin Veal, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Chair of the Council’s Strategic River Group, says of the project:  “This  is also about enhancing Bath’s river corridor and making greater use of one of Bath’s most underused assets, whilst at the same time improving river safety.

“As part of this, we are working with the Canal & River Trust, Wessex Water, the Environment Agency and the River Regeneration Trust to look at projects which could transform and revitalise the waterways along the River Avon between Bathford and Keynsham, and along the Kennet and Avon Canal. Both the Water Space Study and the River Corridor Fund show the Council working with our partners to improve the River Avon and the Kennet & Avon Canal for residents and visitors alike.”

City-Wide Flood Strategy Phase 1 (Bath Quays Waterside) details:

http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/major-projects/bath-quays-waterside-reconnecting-bath-its

What’s your view on the river?

What’s your view on the river?

Water taxis and transporting refuse waste – just two of the ideas for finding new ways of using Bath’s waterways –  that l discussed with the man ‘chairing’ a group who are charged with transforming and revitalising the river and canal systems.

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L to R. Dave Laming, River Regeneration Trust; Nick Rowson, Atkins; John Wilkinson, B&NES; and Cllr Martin Veal, Chair of the Strategic River Group. Photo © paulgillisphoto.com

Cllr Martin Veal – who is Cabinet Member for Community Services – has been appointed Chair of the Strategic River Group which has been set up to look at the matter – but they want the public to have a big say in how Bath uses its water spaces.

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Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, and Wessex Water will work together in a jointly funded Water Space Study, with the support of ongoing research from the River Regeneration Trust.

Water Space Study Launch

From left to right: Patrick Moss, Atkins (who is from Moss Naylor Young ltd, a sub-consultant to Atkins) Zoe Hancock, BANES,John Wilkinson, BANES, Jim Collings, BANES, David Crowson, Environment Agency, Cllr Martin Veal, BANES, Dave Laming, River Regeneration Trust, Nick Rowson, Atkins, Cleo Newcombe-Jones, BANES, Mark Minkley, BANES, Jeremy Taylor, Environment Agency, Ruth Barden, Wessex Water, Tim Hewitt, BANES.

Historically rivers and canals were heavily used for industry, business and trade, but they are now used increasingly for leisure and wellbeing, sports and recreation, so the study will gather new evidence about how the waterways are now being used.

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Engaging with local communities, it will look at the diverse range of opportunities along the River Avon between Bath and Keynsham, and along the Kennet and Avon Canal between Deep Lock and Limpley Stoke Viaduct.IMG_5713

The Water Space Study will also be informed by the continuing work of the Council and the Environment Agency to investigate options for managing flood risk.

Councillor  Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) said: “All of the project partners are keen to engage with everyone who has an interest in the river and canal within our communities, including businesses, the construction industry, landowners, sports clubs, boaters and local groups.

“We want to make sure that local people play a key part in finding more ways for everyone to safely enjoy our fantastic waterways in a way that benefits the environment and the local economy.

I met him for a chat in Parade Gardens.

As soon as we find out more about how and when you can contribute the Virtual Museum will let you know! Please let me know your views in the meantime.

Water power!

Water power!

B&NES must really learn to coordinate things amongst departments within the authority. The following press release was ’embargoed’ until l am today (Thursday, March 17th) and l have stuck to that request by not releasing it until now.

However followers of the Virtual Museum of Bath website know that l published a story yesterday  (it sits alongside this one)  about an on-line newsletter relating to a new ‘body’ that would launch a study into how our waterways could be better used.

That newsletter was sent out into the public realm on March 14th. It was NOT embargoed.

Anyway here’s the release that was – and it comes with a photograph of those who will be involved.

‘A study looking at new ways to use the river and canal system around Bath has been launched  to identify projects to transform and revitalise the waterways.

Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, and Wessex Water will work together in the jointly funded Water Space Study, with the support of ongoing research from the River Regeneration Trust.

Historically rivers and canals were heavily used for industry, business and trade, but they are now used increasingly for leisure and wellbeing, sports and recreation, so the study will gather new evidence about how the waterways are now being used.

Engaging with local communities, it will look at the diverse range of opportunities along the River Avon between Bath and Keynsham, and along the Kennet and Avon Canal between Deep Lock and Limpley Stoke Viaduct.

The Water Space Study will also be informed by the continuing work of the Council and the Environment Agency to investigate options for managing flood risk.

Cllr Martin Veal

Cllr Martin Veal

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services and Chair of the Strategic River Group, said: “All of the project partners are keen to engage with everyone who has an interest in the river and canal within our communities, including businesses, the construction industry, landowners, sports clubs, boaters and local groups.

“We want to make sure that local people play a key part in finding more ways for everyone to safely enjoy our fantastic waterways in a way that benefits the environment and the local economy.

“This study initiates what we hope will be an exciting enhancement and transformation of how Bath uses its water spaces.”

The study will look at all aspects impacting on the river and canal, including boat moorings, river navigation by boats, leisure and recreation opportunities and wider wildlife and habitat enhancements.

Water Space Study Launch

From left to right: Patrick Moss, Atkins (who is from Moss Naylor Young Ltd, a sub-consultant to Atkins) Zoe Hancock, BANES,John Wilkinson, BANES, Jim Collings, BANES, David Crowson, Environment Agency, Cllr Martin Veal, BANES, Dave Laming, River Regeneration Trust, Nick Rowson, Atkins, Cleo Newcombe-Jones, BANES, Mark Minkley, BANES, Jeremy Taylor, Environment Agency, Ruth Barden, Wessex Water, Tim Hewitt, BANES.

The project partners will be working with local consultancy firm Atkins, which has been involved in many environmental-based river restoration work and marina developments, including the rejuvenation of the London 2012 Olympic Park canal network.

Mark Evans, Waterways Manager for the Kennet & Avon Canal at the Canal & River Trust, said: “This study will really help us to understand what people want and need from Bath’s waterways, from the needs of boating communities to the tourist trade.

“The canal and river are already key features of the city, but there is potentially much more we can do to make the most of them.

“This is the first step in working out what those things could be, and it’s great to have partners on board who are as invested in Bath’s future as we are.”

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Dave Laming, Chairman of the River Regeneration Trust.

Dave Laming, Chairman of the River Regeneration Trust, said: “We have been campaigning for five years now for work like this to be done to really make the most of our waterways, so I am delighted to see this study launch this week.

“The river and canal provide an excellent facility for the area, but so much more is possible. This study is a really exciting first step in making real improvements.”Map of Water Space Study Area

Jeremy Taylor, catchment co-ordinator at the Environment Agency, said: “This is a real team effort. As well as making full use of the water spaces in Bath, the Water Space Study will assist in the development of a sustainable approach to flood risk management within Bath.

“We are all pooling our knowledge and resources to identify both large and small projects that will benefit the community, local economy and the environment.”

The project is due to conclude its recommendations in March 2017. Opportunities for public engagement are being planned for summer 2016.

For information on the river and canal and the Water Space Study, visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/riverandcanal or email RiverAvon@bathnes.gov.uk.

Work on new road system begins.

Work on new road system begins.

Work on the next phase of the Bath Quays Waterside project will begin on January 20, 2016.

The £6.22m project, a collaboration between Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Environment Agency, will take place over the next two years. It will reduce flood risk for over 100 existing properties, reconnect the city centre to the riverside with a new waterside park, and allow the development of Bath Quays, a new home for businesses in the city.

Highway plan

The attached map shows how the new road layout will look, once completed.

Highway works will be carried out by contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd and will change the existing one-way system around Avon Street car park into a two-way system, with a new road link through Riverside coach park. Once completed traffic will be diverted from Green Park Road, allowing the widening of the river bank which will improve the River Avon’s ability to convey flood water, and establish a new riverside public open space.

Work will start at the coach park on January 20, to be followed by Avon Street, Green Park Road, Corn Street and Ambury, as well as Avon Street car park which will have a new exit constructed onto Ambury.

No road closures will be necessary during daytime hours but some lane closures will be required. Riverside Coach Park and Avon St car park will remain open throughout, although the coach park will operate as a short-term parking facility only, with long-term coach parking relocated to the First Bus depot at Weston Island.

The Council anticipates that this work will be completed before the Summer, enabling traffic to be permanently diverted from Green Park Road onto the new two-way system. Some delays in this area are possible during peak times, and we thank the public for their patience while these important works are carried out.

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “This work will ultimately lead to the development of new space for home-grown and growing businesses. It is an important next phase in our work to secure the city for future generations, and will help us to meet one of our priorities of creating more homes and high-value jobs.”

At the same time, the Council will undertake essential highway improvement work from Corn St to St James’s Parade. This will start on February 1 and last for 6 weeks. This will require the right turn lane from Corn St onto St James’s Parade to be closed, with a short diversion via Avon Street and James St West. When this is completed there will need to be three overnight closures to complete the carriageway resurfacing and road markings.

Also starting February, there will be pedestrian/cycle path and landscape improvements on the riverside path between Nelson Villas and in Green Park as part of the Bath Quays Waterside project works. At times pedestrians and cyclists will need to be diverted from the riverside path between Nelson Villas and Green Park, diversions will be signposted as required.
For detailed information about the construction works and its impacts on the public, please refer to the question and answer sheet attached on the project web page at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/bathquayswaterside. Timescales for further road closures, towpath and river access will be communicated later in 2016.

January start for Bath Quays Waterside

January start for Bath Quays Waterside

Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Environment Agency are due to begin work on the next phase of the Bath Quays Waterside project this month (January).

Construction work will be phased over the next two years and, when completed, will reduce flood risk for over 100 residential and commercial properties; reconnect the city centre to the riverside with a new waterside park, and enable the development of Bath Quays, a new office and creative quarter.

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Improving the look of the River Avon through the city.

Contractors Alun Griffiths Ltd will begin work on a compound on January 4. Avon Street car park and Riverside coach park will remain in operation throughout the works. From January Riverside Coach Park will remain the primary visitor drop off and pick up location, but once passengers have disembarked, coaches will relocate to the First Bus Weston Island Depot.

Once the compound is set-up the contractor will start on highway and utility works in late January in Ambury, Corn Street and Green Park Road.
A new section of road will be built, connecting Corn Street with Green Park Road, which, on completion will carry two-way traffic. Traffic will be permanently diverted from a length of Green Park Road (next to Avon Street car park), allowing the river bank alongside to be widened, providing additional flood flow and a new public open space.

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The proposed tree-lined terraces

Ed Lockington from the Environment Agency said: “We are pleased to work with Bath & North East Somerset Council on this project which will reduce existing flood risk in Bath and help provide exciting redevelopment opportunities.”
Tim Warren, Council Leader, said: “I’m delighted that we’re now beginning works which will ultimately lead to the development of new space for home-grown and growing businesses in our new business district. The flood works will unlock an important next phase in our work to secure the city for future generations, and will help us to meet one of our priorities of creating more homes and jobs.”

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The information boards by Churchill Bridge

For detailed information about the construction works and its impacts on the public, please refer to the question and answer sheet attached on the project web page at www.bathnes.gov.uk/bathquayswaterside.Timescales for road closures, towpath and river access will be communicated later in 2016.

Dredging up the past.

Dredging up the past.

The work completed. IN time - new plantings will be made on a re-shaped riverbank.

The work completed. New plantings will be made on a re-shaped riverbank.

Councillors will be brought up to date with work on the Bath Flood Alleviation Scheme – which involves re-shaping the banks of the River Avon from

There's a bike coming up in the underwater grab!

There’s a bike coming up in the underwater grab!

Churchill Bridge and on down river – at a meeting of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development and Scrutiny Panel next Monday (July 20th).

The most obvious bits of the work to alleviate flooding and improve river flow has been the felling of trees in preparation for the re-shaping of the river bank – and a dredging operation carried out by the Environment Agency around the newly restored Victoria Bridge in late April this year.

The Agency will tell councillors  it removed  ‘350 trolleys, 40 bicycles, 2 motorbikes and 9 cars from the River Avon in Bath at Victoria Bridge. The debris was removed to improve navigation through the city.’

Six million pound flood scheme ready for formal approval.

Six million pound flood scheme ready for formal approval.

river avonmFollowing 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.river avon

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.

river avon green parkAs 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.

DETAILED INFORMATION:

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.