Homes in Kewstoke at risk of flooding in next five years if defence structure is not repaired

PUBLISHED: 17:18 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:26 22 May 2018

Flooding in Kewstoke in 1967.

Flooding in Kewstoke in 1967.

Archant

‘Critical defects’ in a structure preventing flooding in Kewstoke mean the system could fail in the next five years without repairs.

Huckers Bow is near the National Trust car park in Kewsoke. Picture: Google Huckers Bow is near the National Trust car park in Kewsoke. Picture: Google

Huckers Bow is a tidal outfall near the National Trust car park in Beach Road.

It has earth embankments and a concrete structure to prevent tidal water travelling to Kewstoke Rhyne and flooding the land behind.

A structural survey has confirmed the outfall is in poor condition and could fail in the next five years without major repairs.

Modelling has shown failures in the structure would cause flooding to close to 300 homes, park homes and caravans, along with farmland, south west of the outfall.

St Thomas' Head/Sand Bay. Picture: Chris Day St Thomas' Head/Sand Bay. Picture: Chris Day

The Marine Management Organisation, a Government department responsible for licensing marine activities, has applied to North Somerset Council for permission to carry out works.

Its report says: “The outfall is in poor condition and the proposed works are required to maintain functionality and safety to the surrounding properties, farmland and recreational visitors in the coming years.

“Some defects are considered to be critical and could initiate the failure of the headwalls in the near future.”

It says the most critical defects include it becoming partially hollow in places, with large voids where water is infiltrating it.

The wall has also become bowed, and water is starting to seep through it.

The report says: “The overall purpose of the project is therefore to provide robust structures to maintain the existing standard of protection to properties and safety of the general public, and enhance the structure by reducing maintenance.”

It is estimated 286 homes will no longer be regarded as a ‘moderate flood risk’ as a result of the scheme.

The structure is managed by the Environment Agency on land owned by the National Trust.

The proposals include removing the headwalls and replacing them with shallower embankments.

A temporary footpath and footbridge over the rhyne would be built to allow public access during the works, and some woodland would need to be cleared.

The Environment Agency is hoping to complete the work by December

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