Changing weather patterns generate new challenges
Simeon Disley, Partner
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The threat of flooding to the town of Boston has been long known and the installation of a raisable barrier in the river Haven began in the spring of 2018. Completion is expected by the end of 2020 offering protection to 14,000 properties and delivering an economic benefit estimated at over a billion pounds.
Whilst the benefit of the barrier was widely recognised, the installation works would present practical issues to river users. In particular, the fishing fleet and the Witham Sailing Club would have their activities severely hampered by the works and the potential for collisions, and thus damage to property and threat to life, was very real.
It was in the best interests of everyone, and in particular the fishermen, that arrangements should be made for a temporary quay to be constructed.
There were many issues to be addressed and, to ensure their concerns were recognised and addressed, the fishermen asked local MP, Matt Warman, to make representations to the Environment Agency on their behalf.
To make full use of the temporary quay, complex and lengthy negotiations with the Environment Agency were necessary. Roythornes partner, Simeon Disley, was appointed to deal with the property aspects of the project and Sarah Whitehurst would advise on the commercial arrangements.
For the fishing fleet, an area large enough to moor 26 fishing boats in tandem was identified on the adjacent Boston dock. The shoreline was dredged and the quayside fitted out with moorings. Water and electricity was also provided. Terms were agreed for access over the Boston Dock site for crew and maintenance vehicles, as well as for lorries to collect the day’s catch. The fishing fleet completed its relocation to a temporary quay in the summer of 2018.
As for Witham Sailing Club, whilst agreeing with the Environment Agency to forego sailing dinghies in the River Haven during construction of the barrier, all their objectives were met and terms were agreed to mitigate the inconvenience to its members’ activities and enjoyment.
The agreement with the Environment Agency was completed in February 2019.