Avonmouth Docks flood defence works set to begin in 2022

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Avonmouth Docks - view from PortisheadImage source, Geograph/Rossographer
Image caption,
Flood defence works at Avonmouth Docks are now due to start next year

Flood defence works at a dockyard have been delayed due to complex groundworks and investigations.

Construction around the Avonmouth Docks and River Avon was due to begin earlier this year but will now start in 2022.

The work is part of the £100m Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area (ASEA) scheme along the Severn Estuary.

South Gloucestershire Council said other sections have been completed despite supply chain issues with finding materials on time.

Image source, South Gloucestershire Council
Image caption,
Some sections of the flood defence wall near Severn Beach have now been completed

"We've been re-using earth material from the wetland sites to use within the flood defence construction and 50 percent cement replacement in our structural concrete," said council leader Toby Savage.

"All of those techniques are best practice within the industry so we keep them constantly under review."

He added work on the embankment at New Passage Road was under way while Aust Wharf Road was complete and the Severn Beach flood defences were largely finished.

The largest section - a long concrete wall - will be at Avonmouth Docks, the River Avon and up the Severn coastline. It is expected to take two years to complete.

Image source, Kneonlight/Getty Images
Image caption,
Two wetland habitats will be created by the end of the year

Mr Savage said delays were always likely.

"We've been doing a lot of ground investigations and surveys around the docks and around the River Avon section of the scheme.

"That section of the project area is very close to Bristol Port and so we do need to work very closely with the businesses there to make sure we are doing things in such a way where it does minimise the disruption," he added.

This had been opposed by local residents and the Bristol Port Company due to environmental concerns but received planning approval by South Gloucestershire Council.

A Bristol Port Company spokesperson said: "We are engaged with the developers of the ASEA Flood Defence project (Environment Agency, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council) and they are addressing the concerns that we had."

Mr Savage added the plan to create at least 80 hectares of wetland by flooding land at Northwick, South Gloucestershire and Hallen Marsh, Bristol, would be delivered by the end of the year once groundworks were complete.

Image source, South Gloucestershire Council
Image caption,
The flood walls are part of a larger plan to create wetlands in Northwick and Hallen Marsh

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