The Environment Agency is about to start work on a £2 million refurbishment of Polperro tidal gate.
The improvements will ensure the continued protection of the popular Cornish village from flooding and coastal erosion.
The tidal gate shelters the inner harbour from waves during storms, helps preserve historic listed quays and reduces flood risk to commercial and residential properties. It also helps provide safe moorings for the fishing fleet and pleasure craft.
The gate was seriously damaged in 2009 and underwent major repairs. Further damage occurred in 2014 affecting the supporting structure. A temporary repair was made that enabled the gate to operate, but further work is needed.
The Environment Agency has appointed NMCN Sustainable Solutions Ltd as principal contractor. The work will be carried out in partnership with Polperro Harbour Trust and South West Water and will continue throughout the summer.
The first phase will be the removal of the tidal gate using a floating crane on a barge. The gate will be taken to Par to be dismantled and any equipment that can be reused will be removed. Contractors will then repair the supports and running equipment and reinforce the hinge before reinstalling the replacement gate.
South West Water will also be working at the harbour carrying out improvements to the sewerage system. By working together and carrying out repairs at the same time the Environment Agency and water company will minimise any disruption. Where possible, equipment will be brought in via barge rather than road to minimise disturbance to the local community.
Sam Armstrong, for the Environment Agency, said:
There will be an increased risk of high water within Polperro harbour while these critical refurbishment works are carried out. We will review our current flood warning service to see if any short term changes are necessary to help warn and inform the local community for the duration of this project. When completed the tidal gate will be fit for a further 30 years.