News - Remedial Works on the River Stour at Muscliffe, Bournemouth

NEW - 5th April 2013 // LAST UPDATED - 5th March 2015

UPDATED - 5th March 2015

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
4th March 2015
RE: Stour river bank,

Barbara.

As always thank you for your reply yes very disappointed that the no funding was forthcoming from the green infrastructure document, as it made great play on the Stour Valley being a flagship project and talked of a number of gateway opportunities touching on Throop Mill / Hicks farm and yes the Barn, my hope that we might someday see that vision fulfilled, pity Heygates cannot have such a vision for the Former Mill.

My priority must be now hopefully be to see some improvements made to restore as best a possible the muddy section of the path once Spring is on us so residents / children alike don't have to wear wellington boots, but do appreciate your comments on funding but perhaps with some of the council reserves our very helpful Portfolio holder Lawrence might have words with the leader, hence copying Lawrence in the email.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
3rd March 2015
RE: Stour river bank,

Dear Cllr Whittaker

Thanks for your emails.

Stuart, Tom and I have been keeping a check on the river side paths throughout the winter and we will look to use the small amount of money left from the bank stabilisation works to improve the footpath surfaces. The timing of that work will be early May once we are confident that river levels will stay low enough to allow the works to be complete.

I appreciate your concerns about the ingress from the river onto the path but as we have found with all of our bank stabilisation works reinforcing the bank is a complex and expensive issue. At the moment we do not have any funding to carry out this work. Unfortunately despite all the hard work put into the South East Dorset Green Infrastructure document it didn't come with any funding.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

UPDATED - 20th October 2014

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Bournemouth Daily Echo Letters
15th October 2014
Letter to Daily Echo Bournemouth

Alex,

Reading the article in today's echo regarding the press release from the Council on page 22, Stour and proposals to improve, yes very good feature, but it is a pity that no comments were forthcoming from a ward member, please see the photos taken of the new boardwalk, which I have sent in before to echo including numerous comments.

Emailed throughout the year showing photos of the work being undertaken to the path and erosion of the river bank and my endless ongoing campaign to secure this long overdue improvement which were so identified in a consultations report in 2010, please to say all have over time been on our website.

Purpose of my email is please when such press releases are issues. It would be nice if a ward member who have worked so hard to active this end result could have a comment, likewise the fantastic improvement to the cycle/walkers path to Berry Hill treatment works, again photos sent through but nothing reported.

At today's cabinet I made a number of comments including from the leader how one is grateful to the chair of transport and environment, Cllr Mark Anderson in securing much of the funding from heath land mitigation.

Appreciate my comments are not likely to get me anywhere, but one wonders why in the past echo reports were then very keen to get local comments. Appreciate I have only represented Throop/Muscliff for 43 years.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 7th October 2014

Stour New Boardwalk and Path

Fantastic improvement to the old boardwalk much more of a solid structure, path has been relaid but some concerns remain over the stones for buggies and dsiabled wheelchairs, but in general what a transformation to the stour valley.

Stour Boardwalk, Bournemouth

Finished Edge

Stour Boardwalk, Bournemouth

Top End of Works

UPDATED - 1st September 2014

E-mail Reply from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
26th August 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Dear Cllr Whittaker

The contractor is scheduled to start on 15th September and the works will take approx 3 weeks.

I was hopeful he could start earlier but the same contractor is currently tied up with other work for the council across the borough which is critical - such as carrying out coastal protection works at Hengistbury Head.

I have included the additional drainage at the end of the boardwalk although this wasn't part of my bank stabilisation works and as you are aware has been a long standing problem.

Sophia and I met with Richard and Phil a couple of weeks ago and explained what we are trying to achieve with the works. Richard and Phil were able to give us some helpful feedback regarding the difficulties they have accessing countryside paths. Sophia and I will both endeavour to ensure once the footpath works are complete they will be enjoyable for all our visitors.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Mark Holloway - Countryside Operations Manager, Bournemouth Council
22nd August 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Mark

One thing I missed out is the WATER that is constantly trickling down adjacent to boardwalk from the upper bank, MAKING THIS SECTION A SMALL MUD BATH, it needs a trench (pipe) to take the surface water away from the path.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
22nd August 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Barbara,

Today on my walks along the beautiful Stour River, was naturally hoping to have seen a start on the works to the path leading up to boardwalk, sadly nothing, know as you have said in previous emails have to follow a procurement procedures and 3 quotes for the work. It is now running into some two months since the works to the bank were completed, meeting today walkers from a local church, interesting they knowing me asked about the path, so can I ASK as to where we ARE in getting these worked carried out before the winter weather.

Really hope I don't have to continue chasing this up.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 23rd July 2014

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
22nd July 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Barbara,

Thank you but naturally am somewhat disappointed that it seems we now have to wait from what you say, several weeks, this reinstatement of the path should have been well planned weeks ago, yes hear what you say about the plastic timber, BUT WHY cannot the path leading up to the board walk, the worse section anyway, be dealt with now by the appointed contractor.

Happy, far from it.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
22nd July 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Dear Cllr Whittaker

I have appointed a contractor to carry out the improvement and reinstatement works on the boardwalk and footpath/bridleway.

When I've agreed with him a suitable schedule of works I'll let you know when they will be starting.

I understand there is a lead time of several weeks on the plastic timber we will be using for the new boardwalk so we will have to arrange the works around that.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

UPDATED - 9th July 2014

E-mail Reply from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
7th July 2014
RE: Horse riding at Throop

Dear Cllr Rey

Michael Rowland has asked me to reply to your queries regarding the bridleway north of the Stour Acre Barn following the bank stabilisation works.

We are shortly to have contractors on site who will be; installing a new boardwalk slightly closer to the river than the existing one, remove the old boardwalk and upgrade the surfacing of the bridleway to create a new wider access. This will include adding drainage. The surface of the bridleway leading up to the boardwalk and the footpath after the boardwalk which were disturbed by the bank stabilisation works will have the surface reinstated and any additional drainage added as needed.

The upper path bridleway from the boardwalk through to the disabled fishing platform car park on the access road down from Wimborne Rd is accessible and is being used by horse riders.

There are some overhanging branches - I will ask the rangers to cut these back as much as they are able to within the bird nesting season.

The high water table created by record levels of rainfall during the winter / spring is still evident by the amount of runoff from the wet woodland near to the Wimborne Rd access rd. I will discuss with Stuart and his team about how we can improve this and if possible, and subject to budget constraints, incorporate it into the footpath works.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

E-mail from a Local Resident to Councillor Anne Rey
4th July 2014
Horse riding at Throop

Hi Anne

The problem area is near the Granby road car park at muscliff where the path alongside of the river splits into 2, the bottom path (which includes a wooden boardwalk) is for walkers and the top path behind the trees for the horses, unfortunately since the recent work that has been carried out on the paths/riverbank we (horse riders) can no longer access the top path, leaving us to use the same path as walkers, cyclists, pushchairs and so on, which is worrying to us with horses being unpredictable at times.

Are there any plans to clear the top track so that we can safely ride again ?

Thank you,
Local Resident

UPDATED - 11th June 2014

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
10th June 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Barbara,

Thank you for your detail reply, will this additional drainage you mention include that by the existing board walk which has always suffered over many years from water sipping down from the upper section of land, as you mention the footpath would be reinstated after the main works completed, as the works now seem to be completed, and the ongoing difficulties one is now finding on sections of the path, can I please be told likely then the path will receive treatment.

Very happy for a site visit but please before arrangement that I be informed.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
10th June 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Dear Cllr Whittaker

I can appreciate your concerns about the difficulty with accessing this section of the path and can reassure you that improvements are in hand.

The works by the bank stabilisation contractor where to re-engineer the bank edge and re-profile the bank side to prevent further bank erosion. In addition they did rebuild a section of path which collapsed during the works and installed many meters of land drains - however this was beyond their original contract. It was always part of the project that a footpath contractor would reinstate the footpath after the main works had been completed.

I have prepared a plan to install a new boardwalk which will allows us to remove the existing boardwalk and create a wider bridleway on the upper route for horses, cycles, wheelchairs, buggies and pedestrians. The renovation works on this section will include some additional drainage. To cut down the amount of time the path is out of use we will install the new boardwalk first before removing the old.

I have been requested to arrange a site visit for Councillor Williams and local ward members to explain the works that have been carried out and the improvements we will be including in the project.

I will contact you shortly with details.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Michael Rowland, Parks Manager - Development at Bournemouth Borough Council
10th June 2014
RE: PATH, STOUR AREAS

Michael.

All delighted at the reinstatement to the river bank and the new fencing, but today walking with my wife, disappointed still that nothing has yet happened to the path, more so from the boardwalk, and further on, yes appreciate the signs say work will be undertaken when path dries out, we really do need to get a team in to clear some sections of the path and lay material as it is now impossible for any disabled wheelchair or mums with buggies etc the section by the boardwalk is always wet and it runs down from the bank it needs a section of the path to have pipe below so it runs off into the stream. At present it is covered by branches.

When the work was carried by contractors, told that large pile material was to be used for this path, what happened to it??

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 22nd May 2014

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
21st May 2014
RE: Stour Works

Dear Cllr Whittaker

Attached are the latest photos from site showing the finished levels.

The contractors have planted some Carex along the edge which will grow quickly in the wet areas. They have also broadcast additional seeds suitable for the river bank.

The footpath will be open from later tomorrow - although there will be notices requesting people to keep to the upper path and boardwalk as it is quite muddy in places.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

River Stour Finished Edge, Bournemouth

Finished Edge

River Stour Top End of Works, Bournemouth

Top End of Works

River Stour at End of Boardwalk, Bournemouth

At End of Boardwalk

UPDATED - 16th May 2014

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
15th May 2014
RE: Stour Works

Dear Cllr Whittaker

Attached photos from this morning's site visit.

The photos show the works from (a) the barn end, (b) the fishing platform end (c) the finished levels also 2 of the new drains near the end of the boardwalk.

The bank stabilisation works will be finished tomorrow with some tidying up early next week.

Following on from this I've got our contractor coming in to put up some fencing to protect the bank side from dogs to allow the plants to grow.

We will also need to reinstate the footpath surface once its had a chance to dry out.

Finally we will be replacing the boardwalk.

By the end of the summer it will be completely transformed.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

River Stour Bank Edge Showing Coir, Bournemouth

(a) Works from the barn end

River Stour New Bank Edge, Bournemouth

(b) Works from the fishing platform end

River Stour Bank Edge Showing Coir, Bournemouth

(a) Works from the finished levels also 2 of the new drains near the end of the boardwalk

UPDATED - 14th May 2014
River Stour Bank Edge Showing Coir, Bournemouth

This photo shows the make up of the edge. The coir mesh allows plants to grow and stabilise the bank.

River Stour New Bank Edge, Bournemouth

This photo shows the extent of the new bank - they have been working back towards the fishing platform as they re-profile the bank.

UPDATED - 25th April 2014

E-mail Reply from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
25th April 2014
RE: Bank Stabilisation works on the River Stour at Granby Rd Muscliffe

Dear Cllr Whittaker

Attached are a couple of photos taken on Wednesday.

Bank Stabilisation works on the River Stour, Bournemouth 1
Bank Stabilisation works on the River Stour, Bournemouth 2

At the moment not a lot to see as its mostly underwater.

The line of chestnut palings show the position of the new bank side.

They have had a problem with an underground spring which had turned the ground to porridge. It was where there had been historically slumping of the bank - so not unexpected. It is being dealt with by installing a land drain and back filling the ground with reclaimed gravel.

They are a few days behind schedule but making good progress. We'll have to see how much rain we get this weekend and see how the river responds.

Just in case you haven't heard the works on the new leisure route from the Arboretum to Berry Hill are due to start next week.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
25th April 2014
RE: Bank Stabilisation works on the River Stour at Granby Rd Muscliffe

Barbara.

Many thanks for this information, would appreciated if any photos could be taken of work in progress.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 7th April 2014

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
3rd April 2014
Bank Stabilisation works on the River Stour at Granby Rd Muscliffe

Dear Cllr Whittaker

I'm pleased to let you know that the contractor for the bank stabilisation works will be on site from next week.

They'll be setting up and bringing equipment on site on Monday - with the bank works due to start on Tuesday.

The footpath upstream from the Stour Acre Barn to the disabled fishing platform will be closed while the works are carried out.

Although the weather isn't looking good for the weekend the forecast for next few weeks is much better.

Hopefully this will enable the contractor to complete the works in the scheduled 4 weeks.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

UPDATED - 12th December 2013

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council to Councillors Anne Rey and Ron Whittaker
11th December 2013
Bank Stabilisation works on the River Stour at Muscliffe

Dear Councillors

Please be aware that the bank stabilisation works on the River Stour at Muscliffe will commence on 2nd Jan, subject to weather.

Due to the narrowness of the path at this point the footpath and bridleway will be closed during the works.

Notices, as shown on the attached document, will be put up at entrances to the Stour to let the public know.

Bank Stabilisation works on the River Stour at Muscliffe, Bournemouth - Footpath Closed Poster

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

UPDATED - 9th October 2013
Bank Rear of Properties at Granby Road Adjacent to Boardwalk, Bournemouth 1

Bank Rear of Properties at Granby Road Adjacent to Boardwalk

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
9th October 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Michael.

Again thank you for this detailed report, my one concern remains about those two large tree and roots showing at the top of the bank adjacent to the rear gardens with endless weather and rain falls, if these trees were to move / fall it would take a very large section of gardens, but as you say monitor this situation this winter but my concerns remain.

As to the boardwalk yes please.

Thanks,

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Michael Rowland - Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Council
9th October 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Dear Cllr Ron,

We've looked back on the Mouchel report (2010) and it does mention the area of bank you have referred to, see text below. At that time there was no significant risk raised to the Council at this point. I think the best course of action for us here is to replace the boardwalk as soon as funds allow (we will take some remedial repairs to see us through to then) and to continue to monitor this area photographically, this will allow us to establish a rate of slip or movement over the next 2-3 years.

Kind Regards,
Michael Rowland,
Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Borough Council

Bank Rear of Properties at Granby Road Adjacent to Boardwalk, Bournemouth 1

In addition, the 'upper bank', as shown in Photo 2.3 (behind the footpath), is quite steep and Bournemouth Borough Council pointed out that a number of the trees are noticeably leaning in towards the footpath. There is concern that this slope has experienced previous slip failings and as a result is putting residential properties at the top of the slope at risk. Mouchel's Geotechnical Specialist attended a further site visit and his comments are contained in Section 2.4.

Section 2.4

Mouchel's Geotechnical Specialist undertook a further site visit and has confirmed that although the bank appears to have eroded through 'slippage', it appears to be relatively stable with sand and gravel showing in places to support this opinion. Valley Gravel underlain by Bagshot Beds (also of sand and gravel with local clay) shown on 1:50,000 BGS geological maps (Figure A8, Appendix A) indicates relatively stable ground. From our initial inspections, the risk of further slippages therefore appears to be low.

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
7th October 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Michael.

Thank for your very speedy reply and contents.

Really hoping that these works can be progress once you have received the replies by end of this month again we will be depending on weather conditions.

On 81 Granby Road have spoken to Mike so we await to see the works being put in place, which one hopes will be sooner than later, and then as you say the longer term regarding the Firs and establishing the hedge with vegetation have assured Mike that FULL agreement will be undertaken with HIM before any likely removal of any trees, which I know Mike is not to keen on but think he wishes to see the plan first.

As to the boardwalk and condition, appreciate regarding funding, but with the erosion of the river bank and now the rotten condition of this boardwalk, my concern is we don't get any injury accidents due to its condition, as you know the lower path is much under water when the water level increases, hence why this boardwalk is so much used.

Michael you say "not something we have been looking at recently", in my emails over past years with reference to Parley Court gravel extractions plans and awaiting the decision from County as to any though here of bunds would add substantial to the floods rise of our adjoin banks, know some years ago Paul Ambrose was involved in this bank issue.

One only has to look now at how much the loss has occurred from the rear of these gardens, again clearly highlighted in that report of 2010.

Again one has to ask regarding those two large trees and any movement would send much of the bank collapsing to the boardwalk as they are learning toward that path as highlighted in the report.

But as you say much can be picked up in the forthcoming master plan, meantime thank you for your comprehensive email.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Michael Rowland - Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Council
7th October 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Dear Cllr Ron,

The tender for bank works on the Stour goes out tomorrow to 4 companies. They have until the 29th October to respond with prices, we have asked about earliest start date and will take this into consideration along with cost and quality.

I will follow up the works to the rear of 81 Granby Rd. We will ensure the short term works to put the boards in (supported by posts with postcrete) is undertaken quickly. In the longer term we will aim to take down the bank of firs and look to replace with a native hedge and get the bank to establish with vegetation ( with the neighbours agreement).

I have done nothing further with the area of bank you mentioned above the boardwalk. I will discuss this area with our team in the next few months to look at what can be done in the long term. This is not something we had been looking at recently, so is an additional piece of work with no identified funding. I will pick it up within the Stour Valley masterplan but can make no immediate promises for any works here.

The boardwalk is now at the end of its life. It may be possible that we can fund a replacement in more durable plas-wood through the current bank works budget. We will see what price the bank works come back at. In the meantime we will undertake some short term repairs to make it safe.

Kind Regards,
Michael Rowland,
Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Borough Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Michael Rowland - Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Council
7th October 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Michael.

Three issues please.

[1] now that the authority have received consent for the river bank erosion project, can you kindly inform me when works with the contractor will take place.

Secondly, [2] After our visit last Tuesday 1st with the portfolio holder, [Cllr Williams], to which I was extremely grateful that Lawrence had taken such a great interest in seeing for himself the issues, this regarding the bank to the rear of 81, Granby road, following our visit a trench was dug that afternoon, since nothing further here has happened.

[3]. Following we then looked at the slippage of the upper bank to the rear of properties in Granby road, being adjacent to the boardwalk. You were going to report back as to what action can be taken to secure the bank abutting the properties / gardens that had suffered slippage over the years, including the serious issue facing the large trees and roots learning towards the boardwalk as shown as in my photos and details shown in Mouchel report in 2010.

And finally the condition of the wooden boardwalk, which as we seen is rotten in sections.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 29th September 2013

E-mail from Matt Boon - Partnership and Strategic Overview Team Leader, Dorset and Wiltshire Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management - Wessex to Councillor Ron Whittaker
27th September 2013
FW: Information for ETOSP

Cllr Whittaker, Michael,

I can confirm that I have this morning signed off the Flood Defence Consent for the Muscliffe project on the River Stour. Formal letter and notice will be sent out to you in the post today.

Thanks,
Matthew Boon,
Partnership and Strategic Overview Team Leader, Dorset and Wiltshire Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management - Wessex

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
25th September 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Erosion River Bank Stour, Throop Bournemouth

Erosion River Bank Stour, Throop Bournemouth

Michael.

Remind you of previous email not only from last year but April this year when we had that joint meeting with the nine key points, that being April, question why had it taken until 31st Aug to submit the details, more so as all of these issues were fully raised in 2012, yes appreciate Barbara only joined us early this year, but this has been discussed now for the past three years plus.

You mention the boardwalk, thanks to our Local Improvement Fund both Former Cllr Jim Courtney and myself paid a large share of the costs with work being supported by David Crutchington.

From again now what you say, "this work will not start for a couple of mouths at least", that I presume now takes us into November plus, meantime you will see a further erosion of the bank by the safety fence, which will now need a extension if nothing starts this year of that fence for very obvious reasons.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Michael Rowland - Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
25th September 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Dear Cllr Ron,

I have already explained in my note to the Environment Scrutiny Panel the process we have gone through (see below), I know you are not happy with progress, there is nothing I can say that will change that, we do our best. The Environment Agency have been helpful, it is a process that we must go through to ensure any works are done properly and that the correct specialists are involved, we discussed this on the phone. I also told you that we did not submit the application until August and that it can take two months to be determined, the note below explains what we did to get the application together. Barbara is not a river specialist and this is the first time she has had to together a scheme like this, quite rightly she has worked to ensure that we do things correctly and avoid mistakes, she has also brought in the funding to deliver the scheme.

We have had a response from the Environment Agency this week (as they said they would) with a few additional requests for information, which we have now provided. There seems to be no problem with the scheme we are proposing, we will now await a formal consent from Environment Agency and we will then do our best to deliver the works as soon as possible. I am not going to make any promises on time lines. We will let you know when we have appointed a contractor and what their expected time lines are, this work will not start for a couple of months at least as we cannot ask people to quote for the work until it is all agreed.

Of the five areas of river bank we looked at this has been prioritised as the first and will be the first to be delivered. Since 2001 we have built a boardwalk to get around this section of bank and also achieved £50,000 of lottery funding to improve access and signage throughout the site, which has now held a Green Flag Award for several years. Furthermore we will be delivering more improvements through the Stour Valley Masterplan.

Kind Regards,
Michael Rowland,
Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Borough Council

UPDATE NOTE TO ENVIRONMENT SCRUTINY PANEL

River Stour Bank Restoration Works

The Stour river bank at Muscliff was investigated as part of a feasibility study report by Mouchel in July 2011. The report looked at five sites and gave recommendations and outline costs to rectify collapsing walls, banks and revetments.

A second more detailed feasibility study was approved in April 2012 with funding to develop detailed costs for preferred options for each of these sites, giving priority to Hengistbury Head and Muscliff, as low cost and high priority items to deliver.

For Muscliff a full business case was written in August 2012 with a request for capital funding from Gateway Board to deliver the proposals. Whilst funding was underwritten by Gateway Board, the Board requested that Parks seek Heathland Mitigation Funds to undertake these works to secure the future of the Stour Valley way at this point. The Landscape Officer for Heathlands Projects was appointed in October 2012 and a subsequent bid to the Heathlands Executive for £73,200 was approved in December 2012.

Since funds have been secured the river bank at Muscliff has been cleared of vegetation, tree works have been undertaken and a full topographical survey completed. Salix (a company who specialise in river bank restoration/repair solutions) have since visited the site and drawn up a design methodology. This information has been collated with detailed drawings by our Landscape (Heathlands) Officer and forwarded to the Environment Agency for approval by various specialists - a process that can take up to two months. The Officer has followed this up with the Environment Agency and we are expecting a formal response from them in the week commencing 23rd September.

Provided no major alterations to design are required we will be forwarding the design to three identified specialists in such work for quotes and will appoint a contractor to undertake works this autumn. Works will then be undertaken as soon as the appointed contractor is able to schedule them in and work within the various physical and ecological constraints of the site e.g. flood, bird nesting season, fish spawning etc.

Michael Rowland - Parks Development Manager
19th September 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
25th September 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Matt.

Thanks for getting back as you saw from Michael note he was saying, expecting a formal response from 23rd of this month. With work this autumn, again why did Bournemouth take so long in sending off the application not until 30th Aug, when they knew last year that the process takes some two months, again we lost out last winter, question is now can this work start before the real winter sets in. From what you now say you are "confident we can determine the consent within two months", so hopefully at start in early October??

Any way thanks Matt, my question back to officers why did they not submit the application before end of August when it should have been prepared and submitted many months ago knowing the seriousness of this section of the river bank/path, which itself was very clearly identified way back in 2001 by myself, yes 2001, which I hold the letters and paper work on.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Matt Boon
25th September 2013
RE: Information for ETOSP

Cllr Whittaker,

I have been able to look into to this for you.

Our Flood Defence Consenting (FDC) process is much like you Planning and Building Regulation process. It allows the Enivironment Agency an appropriate amount of time to review the documents and seek comments from other interested parties etc. This process has not changed and is made clear to applicants well in advance.

During the development of the project my colleagues have been in contact with officers at Bournemouth Borough Council (BBC) to talk though options and process, they have been made aware of the time to allow for the FDC to be determined.

We received formal FDC application from BBC on 30th August 2013, and although we have had some staff resourcing issues during this period, I am confident that we will determine the consent within the 2 month period.

I will send you an update when we have completed our process.

Thanks,
Matthew Boon,
Partnership and Strategic Overview Team Leader, Dorset and Wiltshire Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management - Wessex

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Matt Boon - Partnership and Strategic Overview Team Leader, Dorset and Wiltshire Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management - Wessex
23rd September 2013
FW: Information for ETOSP

MATT, MICHAEL ROWLAND REPORT, CANNOT BELIEVE IT HAS TAKEN SO LONG TO SECURE THESE WORKS WHICH WERE IDENTIFIED IN 2010 MORE SO AS IT WAS LAST YEAR AGREEMENT WAS APPROVED, BUT THEN TOLD WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS LONG PROCESS.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Claire Gray, Democratic and Overview and Scrutiny Officer, Bournemouth Council to Environment & Transport Overview & Scrutiny Panel
23rd September 2013
Information for ETOSP

Dear all,

Please find attached a short information update report River Stour Bank Restoration Works provided by Michael Rowland, Parks Development Manager. This information is provided in response to issues raised by Panel Member Cllr Ron Whittaker. This issue was initially considered by the Panel at a previous meeting in October 2011, at which time the Panel endorsed the proposed programme of riverbank restoration works, including the work on the River Stour.

Please note there is no proposed action for the Panel to take at the present time.

Also attached is a copy of the presentation for agenda item 8 - Highway Maintenance.

Hard copies of both documents will be available at the meeting tomorrow.

Many thanks,
Claire Gray,
Democratic and Overview and Scrutiny Officer, Bournemouth Council

UPDATED - 16th September 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
16th September 2013
RE: River Stour bank stabilisation work

Yes please Matt. Cannot understand why after over a year that the Local Authority are saying they are waiting for responses from the agency, my fear as last year that again with winter and high water levels that nothing will be forthcoming, meantime the threat to this very section of the river bank remains.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Matt Boon - Partnership and Strategic Overview Team Leader, Dorset and Wiltshire Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management - Wessex to Councillor Ron Whittaker
16th September 2013
RE: River Stour bank stabilisation work

Thanks Cllr Whittaker,

I will see if I can move it along.

Thanks,
Matthew Boon,
Partnership and Strategic Overview Team Leader, Dorset and Wiltshire Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management - Wessex

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
13th September 2013
RE: River Stour bank stabilisation work

Michael,

Sorry but reading the comment from 2012 of then the Environment Agency, so why are they if it is them after how many months having the details still not responding, suggest you forward my comments to whoever, as IF WEATHER again prevents this going ahead as last year even then with all those promises, think someone has a lot of explaining to do.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Michael Rowland - Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
13th September 2013
RE: River Stour bank stabilisation work

Dear Councillor Ron,

We're doing our best to get this one on the ground. Barbara is pushing the Environment Agency, but we have to go through the correct channels to get things approved and they have to run this past numerous specialists. We'll call them next week to see how things are going, but we can't promise any dates yet. Please be assured that the funding is in place, it's going nowhere else and that this is a priority for us as is the Stour Valley as a whole.

I know it's frustrating, but I can promise you we will get it done. Of course we can provide a short written progress update for your meeting on 24th if necessary.

Kind Regards,
Michael Rowland,
Parks Development Manager, Bournemouth Parks, Bournemouth Borough Council

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
13th September 2013
RE: River Stour bank stabilisation work

Barbara.

Frankly I cannot believe here what I am reading, how many months does this take for the agency to return a so called consultation form, having now had some near three years trying to get some action on this, more so with then the very detail report from Mouchel in 2010, and YES in 2001 having then endless ongoing correspondence with officers who are no longer working with us, last year the weather delay works, although told it seems no approaches were made to the agency, we are now nearing the winter months, funding in place, I don't want here to see a repeat of yes again delays due to high water levels.

Has anyone even tried to make contact with the Environment. You say being progress as quickly as possible, can you tell me how!!

AM ASKING THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PANEL IF HE IS WILLING TO HAVE THIS ITEM ON THE 24TH MEETING.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
13th September 2013
RE: River Stour bank stabilisation work

Dear Cllr Whittaker

The flood defence consent form is with the Environment Agency and has been sent for consultation with their officers. Until we have had a formal response from them we cannot give the contractor permission to start.

Also as the number of contractors who are competent to carry out this type of work are very few we may need some flexibility about when they start the works.

I am aware about your concerns that this work being delayed but be assured it is being progressed as quickly as possible.

As soon as I have a start date I will let you know.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor,
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
13th September 2013
RE: Stour

Barbara.

We are now into middle September and as yet I have not heard further to when these works are to commence by the contractor, don't intend to repeat all my previous comments but I need to know the start date as not prepared to see yet further ongoing delays to this long planned programme.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 19th August 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
16th August 2013
RE: Stour

Barbara.

I really hope so as these works where supposed to proceed last year but due to then the poor weather nothing happened and then it seemed that no preparation work had in fact been carried out, so this time with funding in place that nothing now will prevent this programme of bank stabilisation in the location which has suffered erosion / collapse over the years.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail Reply from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
16th August 2013
RE: Stour

Dear Cllr Ron

I now have all the information I need for the application to the Environment Agency - which I will complete and send off next week.

I've had a slight delay as I've been working on the Stour Valley Masterplan which I mentioned when we met at Throop Mill.

I also had a slight delay while waiting for the survey which unfortunately didn't arrive until this week.

I'll carry on with the specification for the contractor while waiting for the Environment Agency confirmation any impact on the start date will be minimal.

We are still aiming for a start date on additional tree works in mid Sept with a view to the contractors starting work late September.

Regards,
Barbara
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

E-mail from Councillor Ron Whittaker to Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect, Bournemouth Council
15th August 2013
RE: Stour

Barbara, can I please have any update on the works proposed, and when due to start.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

UPDATED - 25th July 2013
Remedial Works - River Stour Safety Fence - 2013

Remedial Works - River Stour Safety Fence - 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
23rd July 2013
RE: Stour river path, Erosion of bank

Barbara.

Yes thank you for the update, as we go back a few years on this, more so when we had the detail Mouchel report in 2010, in fact one can go back to 2001. When THEN due to a collapsed section of the path was closed in the very section we are talking about for repair works, again hence why we have that section of safety fence in place.

What I don't want to see as yet again a delay this year to securing these vital works to this section of the river bank.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
23rd July 2013
RE: Stour

Dear Councillor Whittaker

Find below an update on the bank stabilisation works on the Stour at Muscliffe.

1. Survey work was commissioned some time ago and is due to be completed this week.

2. The first draft of the detailed design has been completed by Salix - we have a few points to clarify with the specialist but that should also be complete shortly.

3. We have discussed the work with the Environment Agency and the officer is familiar with the project. I will collate the survey work, detailed design work and a selection of other reports to send with the Flood Defence Consent form. This should be completed by 8th August subject to getting all information required back from contractors.

4. While the Environment Agency review the flood defence documents submitted I will prepare the contractors documents and obtain 3 quotes.

5. We will need to carry out additional tree works to allow the contractors vehicles access to the river side. This will be carried out mid Sept with a view to the contractors starting work late September.

6. As it will be necessary to close the footpath while the works are carried out it would be least disruptive to carry out the works after the summer holiday period. As soon as we have a date for works we will give advance notice to visitors by placing notices on site.

I hope this answers your questions.

Please be assured I am progressing things as quickly as possible and am very aware that we don't want to miss this opportunity.

Should there be any changes to the plans or when I am able to confirm the start date for the works I will contact you again.

Should you have any further questions please contact me.

Regards,
Barbara
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Bournemouth Parks Department, Landscape and Technical Team, Bournemouth Council

NEW - 5th April 2013

E-mail Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker
3rd April 2013
RE: Remedial Works on the River Stour at Muscliffe

Remedial Works River Stour

Remedial Works River Stour

Barbara,

Thank you firstly, but not ever meeting you before I cannot now believe my eyes reading the list of outstanding matters one now needs to go through after I say a near year of waiting, Mouchel prepared a very detail report in 2010 as I expect you know, highlighting areas of urgent need one being close to the safety fence/boardwalk, last April. In fact I have had many emails / correspondence with officers, especially Michael and Martyn regarding that section of the bank.

Last year due to the appalling weather we were then unable to carry out the river bank repairs, Gateway board have approved the funding and yes then recovering the costs from rightly HEATHLANDS IMITIGATION, after all Bournemouth has never done well for securing monies from this body, hence why one supported your appointment to sort out this unfairness.

You now make 9 points that you need to go through, one being the Environment-Agency route, they being fully aware of the issues and as far as I am aware fully support the programme which I trust remains Rock-Rolls.

You mention details of survey work / initial design / obtain 3 quotes / meet with the agency to discuss works.

You then say will take some time, so what was happening last year when we were then in a position I was led to believe to get underway in Aug / Sept, as emails confirmed, unfortunately weather put pay to that programme.

I WIIL EXPECT THIS WEEK TO BE CARRIED OUT IN THE COMING MONTHS, AS PROMISED LAST YEAR, WITHOUT HOPEFULLY TO ANY FURTHER DELAY IF ONE DOES NOT WISH TO SEE THAT SECTION OF THE PATH LOST TO RIVER EROSION.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Barbara Mellor - Landscape Architect (CMLI), Heathland Mitigation Landscape Officer, Bournemouth Council to Councillor Ron Whittaker
3rd April 2013
Remedial Works on the River Stour at Muscliffe

Dear Cllr Ron

The programme of works for the Stour will take some time as we are limited by bird, amphibian and fish breeding seasons as well as river levels. We will also need to obtain permission from the Environment Agency before we carry out any physical works to the bankside.

In the next few weeks I'll be meeting Katie and a specialist consultant to look at the scope of the works.

The following is an outline of what will be required;

  • 1. Agree scope and price with specialist river restoration consultant
  • 2. Identify works to clear bankside to allow survey works to be carried out.
  • 3. Carry out detailed survey work.
  • 4. Consultant to produce initial design of physical improvement works.
  • 5. Meet with Environment Agency to discuss proposals.
  • 6. Confirm detailed designs and obtain approval from Environment Agency.
  • 7. Obtain 3 quotes for physical works.
  • 8. Agree works schedule with Environment Agency.
  • 9. Carry out physical works.

As I'm sure you can appreciate as we will be dependent on agreement with the Environment Agency – it may take some time to get to point 9.

The reason we are bringing in a specialist design consultant with extensive experience of river restoration projects is that we will be looking for a sustainable solution.

I will also involve Katie in the design process so that she can contribute to the solution and understand how management of the river bank can be improved.

Regards,
Barbara Mellor
Landscape Architect (CMLI), Heathland Mitigation Landscape Officer, Bournemouth Council