Saturday, 18 September 2021

Councillors to agree 900m of riverbank and mooring repairs

THOUSANDS of pounds could be spent on repairing more than 900 metres of riverbank in Henley.

The town council is looking for contractors to repair the walls and moorings at Mill and Marsh Meadows, parts of which are in disrepair following years of use by pleasure boats on the River Thames.

The banks have undergone piecemeal repairs over time meaning some areas are in a better state to others, but the council is now looking to have the whole stretch repaired.

This is likely to be done in sections of 30m and could take several years to be completed.

Three quotes have already been sought but contractors will also be invited to apply via the Government’s Contract Finders website.

Quotations are needed for 128m of permanent moorings as well as 320m of temporary moorings in Mill Meadows and 460m, in Marsh Meadows, all of which is owned by the council.

Any interested companies will need to visit the site to assess the banks before submitting a quote to upgrade the riverbank wall and moorings in 30m sections and backfill between the repaired or new wall and the footpath.

The new design should have a lifespan of at least 30 years and should be “consistent, functional, safe and attractive”.

At a meeting of the council’s recreation and amenities committee, Mayor Kellie Hinton said: “I know it’s a huge project but it needs to be done now because it’s a big problem in some places and clearly the piecemeal patchworking hasn’t worked.

“It’s going to be in the hundreds of thousands if not more. The underwater survey alone costs £500 for half a day and we may need a few days.”

Councillor Sam Evans added that if the work was being carried out, any contractors should also incorporate an attractive design which will improve the look of the bank.

She said: “We need all the structural work done but the look of it has to be right as well.

“We have come across some really lovely designs that are absolutely right for Henley and that whole area so if we could look not only at the structural bits but the aesthetics too.”

She added: “We need to get the work done anyway so it won’t be much more.”

Quotes are likely to be considered by the council next month.

Town clerk Janet Wheeler said: “Because it’s a major project in excess of £25,000 we need to put a brief on the Contract Finders website. It needs to be up there for four or five weeks.

“We are inviting companies to put quotes in for 30m sections of the riverbank. This project will probably need to be done over several years, not all at once, but this is a focal point for Henley so we need to get it right.”

In 2014, councillors agreed to pay more than £25,000 for repairs to moorings and riverbanks in the town following a survey which highlighted a number of areas that required maintenance.

These included the upper concrete walls at both Marsh and Mill Meadows, which were replaced with steel sheet piling, a crumbling footpath and mooring rings which had come loose from the concrete.

⚫ Councillors are also considering installing low-level lighting on the towpath in Mill Meadows to deter antisocial behaviour.

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