Hi Steve --- good to hear from you. Thanks for the update which I'll pass on to my club. We really appreciate all the efforts you're making!Hi Geoff / Chris,
I haven't been on here for a while but we haven't been idle.
We had another meeting with C&RT and EA today at the Barrage. I took our legal representative who is working with us on this project.
I have to say that everyone in the room was positive and it seemed that we all wanted the same thing. It hasn't always felt like that.
We asked for an update and they gave this which I will briefly outline below. I asked C&RT and EA if I was ok to quote them and they said yes.
We agreed the chosen option will be to proceed with the fish pass in gate 1 !!! A proper, well designed, fit for purpose fish pass. So no cheap sticky plaster solution!
The next step is to get approval that this won't increase the risk of flooding. This is the next step and it won't be straightforward. We were told that it had been indicated that the installation of the fish pass will increase the flood risk by 50mm. It was unknown what the effect of this 50mm would be in practical terms. However we challenged the logic behind this 50mm figure as it didn't make sense to us. It is going to be looked into and explained more fully (if they can). Current policy is that projects cannot increase flood risk so there is a bit of work to do on this.
We were told that we could expect the fish pass to be installed by 2024. I double-checked this and the EA confirmed that this is a valid date that could be quoted.
This date depends on C&RT securing the funding but it is expected that they will be able to do this.
So hopefully after many years, we are closer to getting a fish pass than we have ever been. Both C&RT and EA were really pleased with this progress and they feel that we are on the brink of getting the badly needed fish pass.
Now I have been at odds with C&RT and EA over the years but today I came to appreciate the work they have put in. I fully expect some negative comments on here about these organisations and the time it has taken but I think now is a time to feel good and optimistic for the future. I also think the local individuals concerned have done really well with this achievement and they have constantly been slowed down by bureaucracy, politics and resistance further up in their respective organisations.
In particular the two guys from the EA have been brilliant over the years and I know they are both personally thrilled to get to this point. They want it as much as we do.
I am just giving a summary from today. Please accept it for what it is. Nothing is certain in this world so please be aware that things could change and there could be delays. Don't shoot the messenger but I wanted to make sure everyone became aware of developments and had some hope for the future.
I meant to say that the plan is to have the new fish pass in place and operational before the main salmon migration takes place in the autumn of 2024.Great news Stivy. Thanks for all your efforts.