Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Environment Agency are working together on a major infrastructure project which will provide flood defences for parts of Bath’s city centre and begin to build a positive relationship between the city centre and the River Avon.
The Bath Quays Waterside Project will 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. In summary, these interventions will:
- Reduce existing and future flood risk to the Lower Bristol Road and 60 properties on the South side of the river through the provision of new flood defences;
- 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. While the project was started as a flood mitigation and defence project, it is also a major opportunity to significantly enhance the riverside – creating better access and a more beautiful and enjoyable environment for local people and visitors to the city.
The Bath Quays Waterside Project will support the delivery of around 2,500 new homes, 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 will overcome one of the major stumbling blocks to unlocking the potential of brownfield sites along the River Avon – the possibility of flooding.
The Council and Environment Agency are funding these essential works with a combination of Flood Defence Grant and Revolving Infrastructure funding made available by West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.
Ed Lockington, from the Environment Agency, said, “We welcome working in partnership on this important piece of work and 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.”
The plans and an online consultation will also be available on the Council’s website at www.bathnes.gov.uk/bathquayswaterside.
Safeguarding wildlife and trees
The Council’s responsibility to safeguard wildlife and trees that could be affected by the plans is being taken seriously. A full series of surveys have been undertaken in respect of wildlife and ecology, including surveys of trees and bird species using the trees, as well as bat and reptile surveys. Expert opinion has also been sought from the Environment Agency, Natural England and the private sector. The scheme represents an opportunity to enhance the river corridor for ecology and will consider the creation of new habitats.