Wall of confusion

COUNCIL chiefs are putting pressure on the public to support plans for a higher sea wall - while developers at Knightstone are cutting the height by half

COUNCIL chiefs are putting pressure on the public to support plans for a higher sea wall - while developers at Knightstone are cutting the height by half.North Somerset Council is telling people to back its plans for a secondary splash wall or Weston will end up with a three-metre high barricade.But plans uncovered last week reveal how developers Redrow will reduce the size of the wall around Knightstone Island.The council is currently responsible for sea wall defences but in 2008 the Environment Agency is taking over and councillors fear if a scheme has not been approved by then the town will end up with a wall three times as high.John Crockford-Hawley, executive member for strategic planning and transport at North Somerset, said: "The danger is not having this scheme approved and ending up with a much higher wall which nobody will be able to see over, like the one in Burnham."We are convinced we will get the best and most effective flood protection and something which will be an attraction, but it's imperative that we support it."But according to the same councillor, housing developer Redrow came to an agreement with the Environment Agency this week to reduce the size of the sea wall around Knightstone Island from 600mm to 300mm.Cllr Crockford-Hawley, said: "As part of the planning conditions for Redrow's development of Knightstone it had to discuss with the Environment Agency what to do about the wall around the island as the current height no longer meets health and safety requirements."The original solution was to make it up to 1.1 metres but at the back of Dr Fox's building the base, which would have to be built up, would take up too much of the footpath.""So the Environment Agency said to reduce the wall to 300mm and then put railing on top up to 1.1 metres."The new railings would start where the boats are launched at the moment and where the current railings start and will go right around the island to the breakwater by Marine Lake."A Redrow spokesman said: "Redrow is required to install railings along the causeway and around Knightstone Island as part of the planning process. It is anticipated that this will commence in the New Year."The railings will form part of the overall tidal defence works, in accordance with the Flood Risk Assessment prepared by our consultants and approved by the local authority and the Environment Agency.


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