I attended a drop-in event at Tipton St John Cricket Pavilion at lunch time today and asked a series of questions.

The work will take place on the section of the river opposite Tipton St John sewage works, near the weir.

My questions were:

– where will plant and vehicles be kept, where will the access be and what will be the traffic impact on residents.  Answer:  The equipment will be kept on a field next to the sewage works, which is where the access will be.  Initially there will be lorries carrying the equipment and at the end of the project, but during the course of the project the extra traffic would be in the way of works vans arriving and leaving the site.

– What arrangements have you made to protect the sandmartins, imminently arriving from Africa and about to nest in the river bank.  Answer:  The pipe would be inserted into the ground many metres back from the river bank and will not disturb the river or its banks, as the pipe will go beneath it to an area well back from the river on the opposite bank.  The birds should not be disturbed.  Advice from the Environment Agency has been sought about how to ensure the birds are best protected.

– What are the noise implications.  Answer:  There will be drilling for the first few days and then it will be pipework which should not be noisy.  The drilling as it is into soft ground, should not be unduly noisy.

– How will you ensure that the land is restored.  Answer: It will be left as we found it.

I generally found the six representatives from National Grid very helpful and they gave the impression of being concerned about being careful and considerate of residents and wildlife.

Hopefully, it will all go to plan and there won’t be too much disruption, but please get in touch with me if you are unhappy about any of the work, once it starts in a week or two.