In order to support navigation between Needham Lakes and Baylham Mill two locks (Pipps Ford and Creeting) need to have lock gates installed. The Trust have tendered and received three lock gate quotes for the Gipping. There are a number of companies in the UK specialising in lock gate manufacture and installation and there are reportedly over 1,500 locks in the UK, each requiring two or four gates (depending on width) with each gate lasting for around 25 years. The Canal and River Trust make around 180 lock gates every year.
Pipps Ford and Creeting lock will each need four lock gates, two upper and two lower. Lock gates need to be manufactured and installed by experienced and professional craftsmen, although the trust volunteers would be on hand to support the installation. Each lock gate will have an inbuilt paddle to allow filling or emptying of the lock. During winter and high flowing river times all paddles will be left open to assist flow, although the main water flow will be through each locks by-wash.
Both Pipps Ford and Creeting already have by-washes. A by-wash is a facility that runs around the lock so that in normal river flow conditions, no water will flow through the lock, all water flows around the lock through the by-wash.
Planning Permission will likely be needed for each lock and likely approved before a fund application can be made for full grant funding. Likewise, an Environment Agency (EA) permit will also be needed and with Creeting Lock being Grade II listed the Trust will require permission from Historic England to carry out any restoration work. Indeed the new gates may be required to be an exact design based on the original gates.
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