The Environment Agency and Sedgemoor District Council have been working together to develop proposals for a tidal barrier to reduce tidal flood risk in Bridgwater.

The scheme will better protect at least 11,300 homes and 1,500 businesses from the risk of tidal flooding in Somerset. It permits substantial numbers of new homes to be built and encourages new business investment.

We propose to:

  • Build a tidal surge barrier across the River Parrett between Express Park and Chilton Trinity to help better manage tidal flood risk to Bridgwater.
  • Improve the flood defences downstream of the barrier. We will do this by increasing the height of the existing riverside flood banks in some areas. Elsewhere we would build new flood banks to increase protection to villages.

In order to progress with the scheme, the Environment Agency requires consent from the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for an Order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (TWAO) and an associated request for planning permission pursuant to section 90(2A) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Orders under the Transport and Works Act 1992 can authorise certain infrastructure projects in England and Wales.

In December 2019 the Environment Agency applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under section 6 of the Transport and Works Act 1992 for the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Order to be made under sections 3(1)(b) and 5 of that Act. The TWAO is required to give the Environment Agency the range of legal powers required to build the scheme, including the ability to close the navigable waterway when the barrier is operated.

Putting the scheme into practice could mean implementing changes that would affect people in the local area. Because of this, applications for TWAOs have to follow a set procedure which allows people to give their views on the proposals. Comments and representations were invited via Defra. The period for statements of support, representations and objections has now ended.

Order documents

The draft and final version of the documents are available here for comparison:

Bridgwater Tidal Barrier Order 2022 (TWAO) as made – web document

TWAO Update - January 2022

In January 2022 the Secretary of State (Defra), having considered the details of the scheme and all the representations made by interested parties and members of the public, determined to make a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO). This authorises construction, operation, and maintenance of the scheme.

TWAO written representation correspondence and application documents are available to view below.

Application Documents

The application documents are available to download in the table below. At the end of the table there is also the opportunity to download all the application documents as one single zip file.

As well as downloading/viewing the documents individually we have also made all the application documents available to download as a single zip file. Please note that this file is very large (1.35GB). It may therefore take some time to download and we recommend using a good internet connection.

All TWAO application documents – TWAO Application [1.35GB]


If you have a question relating to the scheme then you can email the project team on

Indicative visualisation

This animation provides an indicative visualisation of the Bridgwater tidal barrier. However, it does not form part of the TWAO application.

Last reviewed: April 18, 2023 by Daniel

Next review due: October 18, 2023

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