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News Work starts on Mote Park Dam improvements


Work starts on Mote Park Dam improvements  image

Essential work starts today, 8 June, to improve the sluice gates, boat house, spillway, dam and area around the Mote Park lake to safeguard the park and surrounding areas from flooding.

Maidstone Borough Council has appointed Breheny Civil Engineering Ltd as the main contractor and Black and Veatch Ltd as the Design Engineers who will act as Project Manager for the scheme.

Government advice currently permits these works which should be completed by December 2020. While the work is in progress some areas of the park may be closed to vehicles and pedestrians to safeguard the public

As a result of a reservoir safety inspection, which the park is required to undertake every ten years, this essential work was recommended.

The sluice gates and boathouse were built around the 1830’s when the River Len was dammed to form the lake and are now in need of refurbishment.

If the dam were to fail, the water could swell rapidly over 40 acres of land, which would see Turkey Mill, Mote Park and surrounding areas under water. With estimated depths of 12 feet this would endanger lives and damage homes and businesses.

The work includes refurbishment of the sluice gates, an increase in the capacity of the overspill of the lake, construction of a ‘wave wall’ and a short section of embankment.  These works will improve the capacity to control the transfer of flow across the dam and ensure that the dam does not fail during extreme flood events.

Initial preparation work has already been completed, with the loss of 300 of the park’s 54,000 trees, which had to be removed between the park and Turkey Mill Lake. However, these will all be replaced, tree for tree with 300 new trees in the wider park and the resulting canopy cover will be five times the size of the current tree coverage. The first 100 replacement trees have already been planted with the next 200 due to planted over the next winter planting season at the end of the project in more suitable places around the park. This will add to the hundreds of new trees that have been planted over the past six years in the park.

Martin Cox, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council said:

“We are pleased to be able to continue the next phase of these essential works which were always planned to take place now. We are assured by the contractor that all people on their site will operate within the government Covid 19 Site Operating Procedures.

“There will be some disruption around the park and lake during the works, particularly around the Boathouse Lakeside where large machinery will need to have access, however we are doing all we can to keep this to a minimum.

“Mote Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country and we are very lucky to have it in our borough, we are doing everything we can to maintain and preserve it for many generations to come.”

For more information about the works please email Breheny Civil Engineering Ltd at: 02007@breheny.co.uk


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