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Flood and Ecology

Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area (ASEA) Ecology Mitigation and Flood Defence Project

This project is a partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council and the Environment Agency. It focuses on helping to support the growth of the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area and protecting the existing communities from flooding. The project will help towards unlocking the economic potential of the Enterprise Area and benefit the local community by:

  • Managing the risk of flooding to keep pace with climate change and rising sea levels
  • Ensuring that sufficient wetland habitat for birds is created to protect the internationally important habitats and species of the Severn Estuary site.

Last summer we published an overview of our proposals, held a series of public exhibitions and attended various community meetings.  Since then we have been undertaking further technical assessments and working to finalise our proposals, taking account of the feedback received.

Current status of the project
Flood defence proposals map
We recently submitted planning applications for the works required. Our proposed works affect land within both South Gloucestershire and Bristol so we have submitted two planning applications, one to South Gloucestershire Council and one to Bristol City Council.

Both Council’s have now published the application documents on their planning application web site.

You can access the planning application documents submitted to South Gloucestershire Council here. Should you need to search for it, the planning application number is: PT18/2505/R3F.

You can access the planning application documents submitted to Bristol City Council here. The planning application number is: 18/02847/FB.

Overview of the proposals

The planning applications seek consent to raise the height of the flood defences between Aust and Avonmouth.  The method we propose to use to do this varies from place to place (as shown on Figure 1) and includes:

  • Raising the height of existing flood banks
  • Building new, higher concrete flood walls
  • Building new, higher flood defences from steel sheet piles

The height increase required varies depending on the standard of the existing flood defences and the topography.  Figure 1 provides an overview.  For full details, please refer to the drawings contained within our full planning application.

In some places the height increase required has been updated since the time of our public exhibitions. This is because the heights of the final proposals are based on new modelling, utilising the best available data. They are intended to achieve a robust design which will adequately protect against rising sea levels.

On land at Northwick and Hallen Marsh we are seeking planning permission to create a network of permanent ponds and areas of shallow water and wet grassland over the winter months (these are called scrapes).

To do this we propose to reprofile the land and work with the natural drainage system to trap rainwater.  These measures are designed to ensure they do not increase flood risk to homes, businesses or other infrastructure.

More details

For full details of the proposals please refer to the planning application documents.  For an overview, you may find the information below useful.

  • Our April 2018 project newsletter provides an overview of the proposals and next steps. This is available here.
  • Within the planning application documents the Planning Statement or Chapter 2 of the Environmental Statement will give you an overview of the proposals.
  • One of the key changes we have made, since the public engagement held in Summer 2017, has been to re-think the proposed design of the flood defences at New Passage. Following discussions with residents, we have amended the design so that the proposed flood wall incorporates glass panels. This will help to reduce the visual impact of the wall and maintain views out to the estuary.
  • One of the concerns that was raised by the community was a concern about the proposed loss of poplar trees at Cake Pill. In response to these concerns we have prepared a report setting out the issues and options and this is available here.
  • Following the concerns raised by the community about the proposed loss of popular trees at Cake Pill. A petition was set up to save these trees. In response to the petition, The Environment Agency, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council have issued a statement and this is available here.

You can download a full list of FAQs and other background information on this project.

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