Flooding fears over Wooler river scheme

Flooding fears have been raised over plans for a major river restoration scheme in Wooler.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 1:32 pm
The existing concrete crossing at Haugh Head.
The existing concrete crossing at Haugh Head.

County bosses are expected to approve proposals put forward by the Environment Agency a regulator, for a 400m stretch of Wooler Water between Coldgate Mill and Haugh Head, south of the town, when they meet later this week (Thursday, June 24).

But the scheme has prompted concerns that the brains behind the application have not given enough consideration to the possible implications of the works and may also have been working from flawed data.

According to a submission made by Wooler Parish Council: “In the initial plan, the Environment Agency was informed that they had missed a stream off their plan, which is still missing.

“The stream runs from Tower Martin farm entrance down towards Haugh Head farm then goes into a pipe under the old council yard, it runs behind the garage then between the garage and Trollshaws, goes under the road and joins the stream that runs through the development site from the show field.

“This stream backs up if extra water ends up in the stream from the showfield and causes flooding.

“Their plan shows no impact of possible flooding to Wooler from the removal of the weirs.”

The plans are due to be debated on Thursday (June 24) by members of Northumberland County Council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council.

One of the main purposes of the works is to improve access for fish, as Haugh Head ford is currently believed to be the structure on the whole of the Tweed river system, of which Wooler Water is a tributary, which is ‘impassable to salmon and largely impassable to sea trout and lamprey’.

If approved, the project would include work to:

Remove the existing concrete crossing at Haugh Head and replace it with a gravel ford ‘Regrade’ a 400m section of Wooler Water Create new floodplains either side of Wooler Water Widen the approach to Coldgate Mill ford

Despite the flood concerns that have been raised by the parish council, no comments have been submitted on the application by the county council’s Lead Local Flood Authority officer.