River Ivel weir earmarked for destruction under plan

Lock Corner Weir could be demolished
Lock Corner Weir could be demolished
  • The weir at Lock Corner on the River Ivel in Sandy has been earmarked for demolition
  • Under the Ivel Restoration Plan the weir is classed as ‘obsolete’
  • However a consultation is still ongoing

The weir at Lock Corner on the River Ivel in Sandy has been earmarked for demolition.

Located half way along the stretch from New Road to Sandy Mill Pool, it sends the main flow of the river around the land at the rear of Tesco’s and through the Sandcast Wood, bordering onto Sandye Place Academy, before entering the mill pool at The Riddy nature reserve.

Under what is known as ‘The Ivel Restoration Plan’, Lock Corner weir is regarded as ‘obsolete’.

These works are linked to improvements required under the European Union Water Framework Directive which has given rise to management plans for all river catchments throughout the UK.

Under this legislation, all artificial structures affecting the river are seen as having a negative impact on the environment.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Over the years the River Ivel has been heavily modified for navigation, food production and flood protection which has changed the natural function of the river and the ecology it supports. We’re currently in the early stages of talking to everyone with an interest in the river, to see if any changes could be made to help the river function more naturally.

“Part of this is looking at structures in the river, such as the weir at Lock Corner, to see how they’re functioning, what effect they have and if they can be improved or should be removed.”

Anyone wanting to take part in the consultation should email anglian-rbd@environment-agency.gov.uk or the River Ivel restoration project on anc.enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Concerned resident, Graham Inwood, said: “The Ivel Restoration Plan was published in May 2014, but members of the public are likely to be unaware of either this project or of The River Basin Management Plan under which it was proposed.

“Consultation on the next phase of the RBMP is open until April 10, when key features for the period to 2021 will be firmed up.

“Many people and organisations affected by proposals in the plan could well find measures are put into practice without even knowing they had the opportunity to ‘have their say’.”

The Ivel Restoration Plan is about to receive funding for the next level of studies and modelling, and is already a key element of the proposals due to be firmed up after consultation ends on April 10.

Structure removal features strongly in the wish list of measures that are seen as economically viable and demolitions could well be carried out in the next six-year phase of the plan between 2015 and 2021.