Flood defences could harm business

A DIRECTOR of a boat company has warned that plans for flood defence improvements along a stretch of the River Waveney will impact on his business. Proposals for the works on the left bank of the river between Dunburgh and Hill Farm, Gillingham, have been submitted to the Broads Authority as part of a long-term, 20-year programme.

A DIRECTOR of a boat company has warned that plans for flood defence improvements along a stretch of the River Waveney will impact on his business.

Proposals for the works on the left bank of the river between Dunburgh and Hill Farm, Gillingham, have been submitted to the Broads Authority as part of a long-term, 20-year programme.

The proposed improvements form part of the Broadland Flood Alleviation Project (BFAP) and would be carried out by Broadland Environmental Services Limited (BESL) on behalf of the Environment Agency.

The proposals are for flood defence improvements to embankments, including strengthening and setback of the floodbanks, excavation of soke dykes and a temporary site compound with associated engineering works.


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In a letter to the Broads Authority, Timothy Robertson, director of Arrow Boats Ltd, Puddingmoor, Beccles, warns that the plans will affect his business.

He says he is joint owner of a 91.5m stretch of river bank land on the Norfolk bank of the River Waveney down river from the site of the planned works.

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Mr Robertson says the company has derived part of its income by using this river bank to let moorings for about 57 years. These moorings are accessed solely by a footpath from Beccles bridge.

The letter says: 'In a preliminary consultation meeting at the Waveney House Hotel I understood, from the two BESL representatives attending, that our moorings would not be affected by the proposals to raise the level of the flood defence for Gillingham marshes at the footpath that crosses my land and the strengthening of the barrier by building it up with spoil gained by widening the soke dyke all to be undertaken on the marshes side.'

But he goes on to add: 'From the plans I see that the footpath will be closed, and the river bank is likely to be unusable and inaccessible to my mooring customers when the work is done. This will cause loss of income to Arrow Boats unless alternative temporary moorings can be provided in the area during the period of work.'

BESL is seeking planning permission from the Broads Authority and says the scheme is needed because: 'The standard of protection provided by flood banks along the Broadland rivers is continually reducing because of settlement, deterioration over time, insufficient maintenance in the past and sea level rise.'

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