I have raised the issue of Clare sluice at todays Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley partnership meeting. My comments have stimulated significant debate and an action to get the Environment Agency in front of this partnership to explain themselves. A number of other sluices were mentioned in a similar situation.
The issue is that sluices used to be looked after by the Environment Agency. A few years ago they stopped looking after them. Clare sluice is now in private hands. This means the sluice can be lowered or raised at the owners discretion which directly affects the level of the Stour river running through Clare.
Additionally, there is a sink hole at the sluice which, if left unchecked it will eventually lead to the collapse of the sluice resulting in the river levels dropping to babbling brook levels.
I understand the EA has a policy to allow the sluice to collapse as it reduces future work loads. I look forward to debating this issue with them!!!