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West Quay Update 15th December 2011

Postedon 16th December, 2011 in News

Residents and businesses from West Quay, Bridgwater were invited to a meeting to discuss the on-going situation at West Quay. Whilst there were no definitive answers and an understandable level of frustration at perceived lack of progress; residents and businesses were given the opportunity to air their concerns.

The human side of the problem has not been ignored; housing officers have been in trying to place residents in suitable accommodation when it becomes available. There are currently over 4,000 people of the waiting list and whilst some West Quay residents are into emergency accommodation, this is not a long-term solution. SDC is trying to accommodate evacuated residents to the best of their ability, but there is a shortage of accommodation in both the social and private rented sector in the town centre.

Some immediate, practical steps would be taken by SDC such as cleaning the areas along West Quay which were open; improving security; help with advertising the businesses which were open; improved communications with the tenants.

*The legal position* – Residents and businesses were be advised (Thursday, 15th December) that Sedgemoor District Council will not be issuing prohibition notices on the buildings along West Quay.

However, some landlords/owners will be served with a Hazard Awareness Notice, which legally brings to their attention the hazard. As public safety is paramount, Sedgemoor District Council continues to advise of the risks should owners/occupiers return; but do not have legal grounds to stop people going back in, should they so wish. The situation will be reviewed should circumstances change. If tenants and businesses choose to re-occupy, they will be advised to make sure that they should assess the risk involved in re-occupation and take steps to ensure their own safety.

This statement is made following a period of

  • ·five weeks monitoring of movement of both the buildings and wall during, which time no further movement has been found since the first week following the breach
  • ·4 weeks post shot-creteing the face of the road to rear of the breached wall during which time the lining has prevented any further erosion
  • ·high tides on 25th November at which time the wall did not move
  • ·trialling of the deployable flood defences at high tide
  • ·advice from Building Control and Environmental Health

Set in the context that this was a natural accident, it was explained that all organisations have been working together initially to manage the situation and plan for a long-term solution to this major engineering project as well as accommodate residents and businesses. It is a dynamic situation and could change rapidly in a short-time scale.