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West of England Flood Defence Operational
- July 13, 2021

The first part of the precast flood defence walls for the Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area (ASEA) Ecological Mitigation and Flood Defence project is now operational, with progress being made on a second stretch.

Approximately one kilometre of concrete flood defence units has been placed to the north and south of Severn Beach in South Gloucestershire. The sections each consist of 428 units, all of which were precast offsite, meaning they were out in quickly and there was minimum disruption for nearby homes and businesses.

The largest flood defence project in the region, this £80 million project will provide 17km of improved flood defences when it is completed in 2026/2027, from Lamplighters Marsh in the South to Aust in the North. The defences will supplement existing flood barriers and help protect the area from the increased risk of flooding from climate change and rising sea levels. This will reduce flood risk to around about 2,500 homes and businesses. It will also create a minimum of 80 hectares of new wetland habitats for the internationally important Severn Estuary’s bird species.

The project will boost the regional and national economy by enabling development within the 1,800-hectare Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area, helping to unlock 12,000 new jobs by 2026.

So far, other achievements for the project, which started work on site last summer, include:

  • Flood defence wall works at Passage Road, Aust: trial embankment complete
  • New wetland habitat at Northwick: nearly three-quarters of work complete
  • Progress on improvements at Cake Pill and Chestle Pill to raise the outfall structures.

Leader of South Gloucestershire Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Climate Change Councillor Toby Savage; Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy at Bristol City Council; Emma Baker, Area Director Wessex, Environment Agency; and Richard Bonner, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership , visited project sites recently to see the progress first-hand.

Funding for the project has come from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, administered by the West of England Combined Authority. Other funding sources are the Government’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid, and Local Levy raised by the Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

This project is a partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council, and the Environment Agency, with the contractor being BMMJV.

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