'Berlin Wall' is necessary to stop floods - says councillor

PUBLISHED: 05:03 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:55 24 May 2010

EXPENSIVE sea defences are pie in the sky" leaving Weston with just one realistic scheme - a 1.5m splash wall. Planning councillor John Crockford-Hawley has defended plans for a new seafront wall, dubbed Weston's Berlin Wall by traders. Some people have

EXPENSIVE sea defences are "pie in the sky" leaving Weston with just one realistic scheme - a 1.5m splash wall.Planning councillor John Crockford-Hawley has defended plans for a new seafront wall, dubbed Weston's Berlin Wall by traders.Some people have said North Somerset Council should have looked at more expensive schemes than the ones proposed, perhaps including a harbour wall.Last week the Weston & Somerset Mercury revealed that there is support for a barrage in the Bristol Channel which would rule out the need for sea defences in the long-term.He said: "The splash wall project is the only one which stands any chance of Government funding. Proposals for harbour wall extensions were rejected as unlikely to attract any funding beyond that necessary for flood defences. Whilst such schemes might have merit they are pie in the sky in terms of funding. Any possibility of a Severn Barrage would be so far into the future that introducing it into the current flood defence debate would be most unhelpful."Concerns raised by seafront firms anxious not to lose their views to a new wall are being taken into account, he said.* New research has revealed that the number of properties at risk from coastal flooding in Weston has risen from 1,800 to 5,009. Researchers told North Somerset Council that over 1,000 buildings could be exposed to 1metre high floodwater, contributing to a potential damage bill of £2billion.Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: "We must build new sea defences as a matter of extreme urgency. Nothing must be allowed to hinder this urgent work.

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