The Environment Agency help an open day on Saturday 17th September, and quite a number of Wivenhoe and Sailing Club folk were taking advantage of the chance to see the control room and to question the staff who operate the barrier.
It was built at a cost of £18m and opened in 1993. It can defend Colchester against a “5 metre event”, which we expect only once every 1,000 years – and could be modified to defend against even worse if sea level rise continues. On this basis, Wivenhoe is defended against a 1953-type flood, when most of Essex’s flood walls would be overwhelmed. Given the economic and housing development that has flourished on land that was previously exposed, the cost-benefit of the Colne Barrier is off the scale!