Press release

Colne Barrier gets major refurbishment

Barrier will carry on protecting over 2,000 homes for years to come.

The Colne Barrier, which reduces the risk of tidal flooding to more than 2,000 homes and businesses in the Wivenhoe and Colchester areas, will get some important maintenance during May and June this year.

Stuart Barbrook, Environment Agency Project Manager said:

The Colne Barrier is an important piece of infrastructure that provides vital protection from flood risk to homes and businesses in this area. The work we are doing will make sure that it continues to do this for many years to come.

The barrier was built in 1992 and was designed to last for 50 years with the exception of the mechanical and electrical components which have a shorter life of around 20 years. It is operated a number of times each year and is an important part of the defences that protect Essex from tidal flooding. The barrier’s worth was particularly demonstrated during the December 2013 tidal surge, the worst tidal surge to hit the East Coast for 60 years.

Work begins on 6 May and runs into June. Both gates will be lifted and refurbished on site. This may mean some disruption to local people. Stuart Barbrook said

We will make every effort to keep this disruption to a minimum and are extremely grateful for the support of the local community. However, if people do have concerns please do get in touch.

Stuart can be contacted by emailing or by telephoning the Environment Agency on 03708 506506.