Residents’ backlash over Ivel

Lock Corner Weir on the River Ivel
Lock Corner Weir on the River Ivel

An explosion of opinion by Sandy residents has forced the Environment Agency to look seriously at its proposed demolition of Lock Corner Weir on the River Ivel in Sandy.

There were 104 responses during the consultation across the whole Anglian region of which 28 were related to the Ivel and 25 of them related specifically to the weir.

Since the consultation the Environment Agency has made it clear plans for the Ivel are in the early stages.

Concerned resident, Graham Inwood, told the Biggleswade Chronicle the loss of the river through Sandcast Wood had the potential to destroy the local environment.

He said: “Local residents took the opportunity of a consultation period on one of the EA documents, the Water Framework Directive, to express their concerns and with good effect.

“The result was a meeting in Sandy Town Council chambers to discuss the impact of the local protest and to look for a way forward.”

At this meeting the Environment Agency argued there had been a misunderstanding but residents defended themselves saying each and every document outlined the removal of all barriers from all rivers.

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: “The recent meeting with Sandy Town Council to discuss the River Ivel project was very positive.

“We gained an understanding of the importance of the weir to the local community and the concerns of residents.

“We want to provide reassurance that no decisions have been made and the project is at a very early stage.

“We look forward to working with Sandy Town Council, other interested parties and local communities as the project develops.”

Funding has only just become available to begin the investigation and to permit the necessary studies and modelling required for any plans.

There is a need establish what measures are possible on the River Ivel and to predict what the effects and impacts might be in the future.

This funding and the resulting investigations are necessary because the relevant UK and EU legislation has demanded some sort of action.

The Environment Agency will be announcing more information regarding their plans at the end of July.