Steel piling to continue along Bure

A LEADING boating group has welcomed a compromise by the Environment Agency which will see the maintenance of steel piling used as informal mooring posts on the River Bure, near Acle, for at least 10 years.

A LEADING boating group has welcomed a compromise by the Environment Agency which will see the maintenance of steel piling used as informal mooring posts on the River Bure, near Acle, for at least 10 years.

In its latest flood defence proposals, for the right bank of the river between Upton and Acle, the agency's contractors BESL had originally only supported the continued presence of a short stretch of piling nearest to the popular tourist spot of Acle Bridge.

Along the rest of the bank, including the stretch outside the Northern Rivers Sailing Club (NRSC), BESL - which is carrying out a £120m flood alleviation scheme across the Broads - had been proposing gradually to remove the old piling.

However, following concerns raised by the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association and the Broads Authority's planning committee, the agency has recognised the important role played by the piles as mooring posts.

At both the Horizon Craft moorings near Acle Bridge and those close to the NRSC, it has now pledged to maintain the top boards for the remaining life of the piles, estimated at 10 years.

Upriver from the Horizon Craft managed moorings, it will remove hazardous timbers and bolts to make the bank safe for boaters wishing to continue to use it for mooring.

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In the longer term, the agency has pledged to work with the Broads Authority, landowners and other parties to develop alternative mooring provision once the piles reach the end of their life.

Mike Evans, chairman of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, said: “It appears a compromise has been reached. It is good news that they have at least called off the complete abandonment of what are important moorings.”

Last month, Mr Evans had warned that the agency's policy could lead to a shortage of moorings at peak times on the Broads, and that could have an impact on businesses.