Somerset Levels river widening

This project is Phase 2 of the Somerset Levels and Moors 20 Year Flood Action Plan and consists of a package of measures to reduce the duration, depth and frequency of flooding on the Somerset Levels and Moors. This will safeguard houses, commercial premises, communities and infrastructure and increase business confidence, contributing to the creation of new jobs and new houses.

There are six key elements to the project:

  • Dredging the rivers Parrett and Tone: approx. £9.75m is required for dredging 11km of river channel; benefits estimated at £13.9m over 20 years. GD1 ask is for £2.45m (25% of cost).
  • Sowy – Kings Sedgemoor Drain enhancement: £8.0m is required to reduce damage (estimated at £100m in 2014) by at least 10%. GD1 ask is for £7.85m (98% of cost).
  • Parrett Tidal Barrier: approx. £3.55m is required to reduce the risk of tidal flooding, particularly for Bridgwater. This is the Environment Agency’s preferred strategic option with a BCR of 95:1, based on risk to existing development (around 10k homes). GD1 ask is for £2m (56% of cost).
  • Land Management: £1.31m is required to change land management practices in upper catchments. The GD1 ask is for £550k (42% of cost) as part of a locally administered capital fund tailored to locally determined needs.
  • Upstream reservoir for Taunton: £300k is required to increase upstream flood storage. This is the EA’s and Taunton Deane’s preferred option. It will reduce risk to existing and new development. GD1 ask is for £65k (22% of cost).
  • Ringbanks: these will provide local protection to Northmoor Barrier, Fordgate, Moorland and Chadmead at a total cost of £420k, covering consultation, site investigation and construction. GD1 ask is for £300k (71% of costs).

Outputs:

600 Businesses safeguarded
550 ha agricultural land protected
10,000 homes protected
50 jobs created, 5 safeguarded
320 ha development land unlocked
625 new homes

July 2015
March 2018

Growth Deal 1 Funding: £13.1m