The Lydford Weir repair project started in 2007, when it was noticed that a hole had appeared at the base of the weir on the upstream side, see main photograph.
There was some dialog between the community and the Environment Agency, the successor to the Rivers Authority, until it was agreed that there needed to be a significant proactive approach by the community to lead the repair, or the weir would collapse.
A committee, under the purview of the Lydford on Fosse Parish Council, was mobilised in mid 2010. This group looked into four major areas of a activity; ownership, fund raising, scope of work and permits to undertake the work.
- On the ownership issue, a lot of work was undertaken into the history of the weir, but clear ownership is lost over the last 1000 years. The opinion of Water Law Barristers was sought and they concluded that unless there was a clear owner then it should be assumed that the Riparian rights owners are the owners.
- The fund raising group set about organising local events, and contacting local charities and grant agencies, entailing a lot of detailed paperwork and organisation. It was agreed that it would be in the interests of the community and the project to form a company limited by guarantee, and make this into a registered charity.
- The technical group wrote a scope of work, work execution methodology and analysis of the delivery risks. this suite of documents were sent to the Environment Agency (EA) for review and to 5 potential contractors. The review comments of the EA were adopted and the bids evaluated.
- Dialogue with the EA has lead to an understanding of the permits needed before work can start. It was agreed that once two drafts of the suite of documents were reviewed, it was agreed that these drafts would be used as a start point by the selected contractor for development into the final suite of documents that the EA would then finally review and approve.
All work stream have been pursued in parallel.
The group have meet monthly to review and coordinate progress, and meeting notes given to the Parish Council.