Location confirmed for Boston’s ‘vital’ £45million tidal barrier

Aerial shot showing three proposed spots for the Boston barrier. The site marked B is the preferred one, just downstream of Black Sluice Lock.
Aerial shot showing three proposed spots for the Boston barrier. The site marked B is the preferred one, just downstream of Black Sluice Lock.

THE location of Boston’s long-awaited tidal barrier has finally been selected after years of consultation and deliberation.

A spot just downstream of Black Sluice Lock has been chosen for the £45 million barrier, which will reduce the chances of flooding in the town six-fold.

Construction on the ‘vital’ structure is set to begin in 2016, after national funding has been secured and plans are finalised by the Environment Agency (EA) over the coming months.

In the meantime, a number of consultation sessions have been planned to offer people the chance to learn more about the plans for the barrier.

Events will take place at the New England Hotel, in Wide Bargate, from 10am until 7pm on Wednesday, November 2 and November 16, and from 10am until 7pm on Friday, November 4, at the Black Sluice Lock Cottages, London Road.

The site was chosen by the EA following public consultation and technical appraisal focusing on operation and maintenance, impact on drainage, impact on the port and support for the regeneration of waterways.

It was the preferred location from a shortlist of three, which also included a site upstream of the port’s wet dock entrance, and one downstream of the Maud Foster Sluice.

Andy Baxendale, northern area manager for the EA, said: “The tidal barrier is part of the Agency’s long-term commitment to reduce flood risk to the people of Boston and to manage water levels through the town to allow safer navigation.

“The barrier, as well as reducing flood risk, would control water levels in the Haven to make navigation on Boston’s waterways easier and safer, this would also provide a more attractive waterfront through the town. We are looking at how best to do this taking into account land drainage, navigation needs and the environment.”

Risk of flooding in the town currently stands at two per cent, or one in 50. Once the barrier is in place the risk will be reduced to just one in 300 in a year.

The latest step in the project has been welcomed by authority leaders.

Coun Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “This represents a major and vital project for Boston and such a needed and important addition to the town’s critical flood defences.”

Coun Eddy Poll, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for economic development said he thought the scheme would provide a valuable economic boost to the area.

l What do you think? Email laura.hammond@jpress.co.uk.