Permanent Ironbridge barriers are needed says councillor

Permanent flood barriers are needed to minimise the impact on business and residents in Ironbridge, a councillor has said.

There have been calls for permanent flood defences in Ironbridge
There have been calls for permanent flood defences in Ironbridge

Telford & Wrekin Councillor Carolyn Healy, ward member for the Ironbridge Gorge, was speaking after the Environment Agency said the current temporary barriers are the "best long term solution" for the town.

The organisation said it was reluctant to put any measures in place that would damage what is a World Heritage Site.

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Its comments came after severe flooding caused chaos in the town and huge damage to a number of residents' properties.

Councillor Healy said there were mindful of the gorge's status, but that they wanted to examine methods that mean life could carry on as normal when the barriers are up.

She said: "We would like to see something more permanent but clearly we want it to be in keeping with the World Heritage Site.

"Currently when we have the barriers up we have to close the road and as we saw when the water was pushing back the barriers that certainly stopped access and had a huge impact on local businesses."

Councillor Healy said that any new measures could be built into replacement railings planned for the Wharfage.

She said: "We are looking at replacing the railings on the Wharfage anyway and if it is possible to replace that with some railings that allow us to slot in barriers that mean we could keep the road open, even if that is only for pedestrians, and allow life to continue as normal and businesses to trade, that's what we are looking at."

She added: "Of course we will work with the Environment Agency because they are the experts and we are very mindful of the world heritage status because that is something as a council we have responsibility for."

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