Multi-million pound river barrier to protect Broads being considered

How well do you know your Norfolk Broads? Take our photo quiz below to find out. Pictures by Mike Pa

A new strategy to combat flooding on the Broads could include a river barrier.

Construction of a multi-million pound river barrier to protect The Broads and Great Yarmouth from flooding is to be explored again.

The idea of a barrier on the River Yare was first mooted more than 60 years ago, but has never come to fruition.

But the Environment Agency said the merits or otherwise of such a barrier, or one on the River Bure, would be considered as a new strategy to reduce flood risk was put together.

Flooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads Authority

Flooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads Authority - Credit: Broads Authority

The Broadland Futures Initiative (BFI) - a partnership between organisations such as the Environment Agency, Broads Authority, councils and Natural England - is looking to devise a new strategy for managing coastal and inland flood risk.

It comes amid sea level rises and more extreme weather, due to climate change and a barrier will form part of the discussions.

Officers said: "Justification for new flood risk management schemes, including physical structures, like barriers, require a rigorous evidence base that demonstrates both that the scheme will be beneficial and feasible and also that the scheme will not have negative impacts.

Beautiful views abound on the Broads, pictured Thurne Dyke Mill on the river Thurne. Picture: Ian Bu

Rising sea levels and extreme weather puts the Broads at risk. - Credit: Ian Burt

"A flood barrier is just one approach that will be investigated by the BFI.


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"If funded wholly or in part by central government there are mandatory tests to select the most appropriate flood risk management approach."

Salhouse Broad wall repairs have commenced by the Broads Authority. Photo: Mike Page

A flood risk strategy for the Broads is being worked on. - Credit: Mike Page

The new strategy will enable a business case to be produced to press for more investment from the government.

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The area to be covered by the new strategy includes the full extent of the Broads Authority area and key stretches of the coast which could influence flooding in the Broads, together with Great Yarmouth.

Reedham today - where Paul first had a Broads holiday in 1951. Picture: Mike Page

The Broadland Futures Initiative is holding a virtual exhibition as it puts together a flooding strategy. - Credit: Archant

People in those communities are being asked to complete an online survey and visit a virtual exhibition as part of the early stages of the process of putting the strategy together.

Mark Johnson, area coastal manager at the Environment Agency, said: "We want to know what your concerns are relating to the BFI plan area and how you think we should respond to threat of climate change in the medium to long term.”

Flooding in Geldeston. Pic: Broads Authority

Flooding at Geldeston. - Credit: Broads Authority

The link to the virtual exhibition is at https://broadlandfuturesinitiative.virtualeventspace.io while the online survey is at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BFISurvey2021

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