I was interested to read Coun Peter Bedford’s letter regarding the flood barrier, which gave an insight into the decision making process.
I can understand the borough council’s desire to promote tourism and leisure. What I cannot understand is the need to interfere with the water levels in the Haven to carry out either of these activities.
The frontages can be improved and if the visitors are put off by unsightly silt banks at low water then they (banks) should be removed on a regular basis. I also understand that it is possible now to sail a boat between Grand Sluice and Black Sluice at certain stages of the tide with care and forward planning. Hence it appears that a water adjusting structure is not required and we can concentrate on the sole purpose of protecting life and property.
We can all agree that a barrier at Black Sluice would have prevented most of the serious flooding last December. It must also be appreciated that if the water had not overflowed into the town (thus acting as a safety valve) the water levels in the river would have been higher downstream.
A barrier at Black Sluice would have had the same effect.
The banks along most of these frontages are earth construction with no secondary banks.It appears there are two options. Either construct a tidal barrier near the outfall of the Haven, to be closed only when a surge is predicted. This would not affect normal river activity. Or build a tidal barrier near Black Sluice Pumping Station to protect the town centre and raise the banks on both sides of the river.
If politicians are dead set on a barrier at Black Sluice, as I fear, then to get the backing of the people of Boston I suggest the promoters
guarantee the two parts of the scheme (barrier and bank works) are investigated, designed and constructed concurrent with each other.