Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So Has The Ribble Been Saved...?


It seems that the barrage scheme is about to be thrown off the agenda and into the dustbin - although it is clear that we need to ensure this does happen - and that it can't be resurrected 6 months or 6 years or 6 decades from now.

In the light of Preston Council Leader Ken Hudson’s statements at the Public Meeting on Tuesday that “the barrage is dead in the water… at this moment in time”… the light of Cllr Hudson's comments in today's Lancashire Evening Post that:

"As long as this Conservative administration is in control it will not happen.

"The whole of the riverside is totally dependent on South Ribble's vision of the future.

"As far as this administration is concerned, the barrage scheme will not be looked at."

... in the light of the current Preston Corporate Plan 2006-9 which "sets out what the council want to achieve over the next three years" and includes aims to "develop Preston's river... and open up waterside sites for development initiatives", "encourage development and growth along the river corridor" and "Implement re-development of the areas south of the river"...

... in the light of the Preston Economic Regeneration Strategy and Prioritised Action Plan, adopted by Preston City Council and which has the barrage and riverside building developments as Key Project Proposals... the light of concerns about the democratic accountability, remit and direction of Preston Vision Board, who came up with the schemes to barrage the Ribble and build all over the riverside Green Belt and floodplain in the first place...

… in the light of the recent Riverworks Position Statement from PCC Chief Executive Jim Carr in October, which states that:

The second priority was the river (Riverside)… [which] ranked behind the dock basin because in the main land ownership is not in local authority hands and there are no immediate problems to be solved. The technical feasibility work would investigate whether and how a barrage or other suitable structure could create an area of still water without causing damage to the river environment or property around'...
‘Still water would enable attractive promenades to be built alongside parts of the river and pursuits such as rowing re-established’ and that the barrage 'would also allow a mirror park on the opposite bank to Avenham & Miller Park to be laid out, creating a magnificent central park for the area with bridges linking the two elements’.
And that the ‘Latest Situation’ as seen by the Position Statement in October is that:
‘The Riverside element has not been progressed and discussions are taking place between Preston and South Ribble on the whole concept under the auspices of the Local Development Framework (LDF). The outcome of these discussions will determine whether it is worthwhile applying for technical feasibility study funding from the NWDA.’

…in the light of the Position Statement in October and Cllr Hudson’s deferring to South Ribble Borough Council in November regarding whether the scheme will be pursued or not…

…in the light of a South Ribble Borough Council Cllr saying at the Public Meeting that whilst not speaking for SRBC, he stated that 'there would be no house-building on the area South of the Ribble, and there would be no development at all, including a barrage, if it would have ANY environmental impact’...

…and in the light of the scientific and professional evidence presented not only on this blog, but at the Public meeting, showing clearly and unequivocally that there will be significant environmental impact…

…efforts are being made to clarify Preston City Council’s position ON ALL FRONTS, and ascertain once and for all whether the barrage and associated riverside developments are being consigned to the dustbin for good.

Watch this space over the coming days for developments…

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At 11:19 am, Blogger Grace said...

this is certainly a victory for the save-the-ribble team, but we will not forget and we will still fight it should the proposals come up in future.

I do hope however that this isn't just another ploy to lower our defence.

At 11:57 am, Blogger Reigh Belisama said...

Absolutely Grace - and it is a victory for all Ribbleside residents such as yourself who have opposed this scheme from the beginning.

We wait to see what statements are made over the coming days and weeks as one would presume that the Council's democratic process means the scheme has to be formally abandoned - particularly as it forms a key role in the Preston Economic Regeneration Strategy & Prioritised Action Plan - formally ratified and adopted by Preston council earlier this year, and it is also a central scheme in Preston City council's Corporate Plan 2007-10.

And of course the fight goes on to ensure the Ribble IS really Saved and for good by making sure the intertidal Ribble and the riverside green spaces and floodplains are officially protected to ensure these schemes cannot be resurrected in 6 months or 6 years or 6 decades from now!

Best wishes Grace, and thanks for your support,


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