New video released by the Environment Agency shows how a proposed new £100m tidal barrier in the River Parrett will look.

Local residents have until February 1st to comment on the plans for the new barrier, which aims to protect thousands of homes from flooding in the future.

The Environment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council have been working together to develop the proposals to reduce the risk of flooding in Bridgwater and the surrounding area.  It says 11,300 homes will be protected, as well as 1,500 non-residential properties, such as shops and offices.

The construction of the tidal barrier is a key component of a 20 Year Flood Action Plan, which was developed after the 2014 Somerset Levels flooding. The Environment Agency has been tasked with developing proposals and securing funding for a barrier which can be operational by 2024. Alongside the barrier, improvements to other flood defences downstream are proposed.

The barrier will be a large gate structure across the River Parrett between Express Park and Chilton Trinity. It will have two ‘vertical lift’ gates that will be closed when a tidal surge is forecast. This will prevent the tide travelling upstream and overtopping defences and flooding property and infrastructure.

“Flood defences will also be required downstream of the barrier to prevent flood water bypassing the barrier and to better protect the villages of Combwich, Chilton Trinity and Pawlett, the A38, the railway and farmland,” says a spokesman.

“We will improve the existing flood defences and build new secondary defences.”

“The current cost estimate is around £100 million. This includes the cost of the barrier and the downstream flood defences, but excludes the wider enhancements, which will depend on additional funding.”

Local people can submit feedback on the scheme until February 1st 2019 here.