Work to repair the lock gates leading to Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour is scheduled to take place from mid-September to early April next year.
Work is to be carried out by the Environment Agency with UK government funding, and is needed to ensure the effectiveness of the tidal barrage and its ability to maintain water levels in Sutton harbour for another decade.
The lock system into the harbour will affected be from October 2022 through to the end of March 2023.
Mitigation measures will be in place to minimise disruption for harbour users during these essential works, working to support the continued operation of Plymouth’s fishing fleet. Continued access to landing, berthing, fuel and ice facilities have all been taken into account.
For the majority of the works the lock will still function on a freeflow basis – generally up to three hours either side of high tide – and with a limited number of 24-hour closures. Access will be maintained for pedestrians using the swing bridge across the lock.
‘It is welcome news that this vital flood defence for the harbour and the city is to receive such a significant investment to complete these necessary works. We will work closely with the Environment Agency and Kier to facilitate the project and with all harbour users to minimise disruption,’ said Sutton Harbour harbourmaster Mark Veale.
‘We are already in discussion with fishing representatives and will work very closely with the local and visiting fishing fleet to put agreed mitigation plans in place. These are likely to include a pre-arranged alternative landing site with truck access to the fish quay for periods when access to the harbour is restricted, to ensure the ongoing operation of the industry.’
The works involve replacing the existing four gate seal assemblies which are fixed to the bed of the lock, below the tidal gates at Sutton Harbour. As well as this, the adjacent flood barriers (or stop logs) which were installed across the original harbour entrance will be replaced.
Detailed information will be available in advance of the start of work and will be regularly updated throughout the project on the timetable of work, daily access arrangements to the harbour and mitigation measures.