‘No extra flood risk to Clyst’ says Environment Agency

PUBLISHED: 10:08 11 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:08 11 February 2013

Any moves to create new wildlife habitats in the lower River Clyst will not cause increased flooding of the road, according to the Environment Agency.

The comments come after a public consultation in Topsham last week, which saw residents turning up to find out more about the Environment Agency’s (EA) draft strategy for the Exe Estuary.

Tied up in this is a scheme to create new habitat in the lower Clyst by allowing the river to breach its banks – something landowners say would see a dramatic increase in flooding incidents like the one seen in November 2012, when the road between Topsham and Darts Farm was cut off by floodwater.

But the EA’s Martin Davies insists that if this scheme was to go ahead, the agency would have to prove that further road flooding would not be caused.

He said: “Before planning permission could be granted for that scheme we have to prove that [there is a plan] to build an embankment or raise the road to ensure there’s no extra flood risk.

“It can’t go ahead unless extra works are done to prove the road isn’t going to flood more often – that’s a guarantee.”

Such works would have to be done in partnership with other agencies, but Mr Davies said they could make the likelihood of the road flooding even lower than it is today.

Also, the scheme is not likely to go ahead for a few years, with the EA’s first priority a scheme further up the Clyst, which it says will cause no increased flood risk downstream.

The EA says that habitat creation is necessary because of its planned works elsewhere in the Exe estuary, to protect property in places such as Exmouth and Dawlish.

Because this would mean building flood defences that would restrict wildlife habitats, the EA is legally required to provide replacement habitats elsewhere.

The two lower Clyst sites, along with a site in the Kenn valley, are its first choices for this.

However, it has conceded that if landowners are not willing to go along with the plan, it may be forced to look elsewhere.

Mr Davies said: “The agency is not in a position to impose anything on anybody. If no landowners wanted to enter into an agreement [on habitat creation] we would hope to keep discussions continuing, and also may have to look outside of the estuary for other suitable sites.”

And agreement may not be easily forthcoming, with Nigel Cheffers-Heard, of the Bridge Inn, saying they are still unconvinced.

“The EA have their position and we have ours, and we’re still not convinced by the science behind their arguments.

“There are 8,000 cars a day using that road. Until such time as there are some plans and figures there … we’re not entirely convinced.”

Another meeting on flooding in Topsham is being held by the Topsham Society and Topsham Community Association, and will take place at Matthews Hall on February 14, at 7.30pm, when EA representatives will be in attendance.

The consultation on the EA’s plans runs until March 4, and can be viewed online at https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/portal.

Other News Stories

11:04

There’s good news for Exmouth’s Famous Old Barrel pub, which has been closed since last October.

Read more

“We are going to find it very hard to balance our books without changing things significantly. We need teachers, but all the other things schools do – all the things that are not our statutory responsibility – we are looking at cutting. We are talking about the life chances of children being damaged,” said Exmouth’s Exeter Road head teacher Paul Gosling.

Read more

Devon and Cornwall residents are being polled on whether they would pay another £12 a year to ‘protect frontline policing’.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:28

The council has teamed up with South West Ambulance and will invest £5,000 in the life saving equipment.

Read more

Chris Wright, whose family used to run Exmouth Fun Park before eviction in September last year, has critised EDDC over a planned £150,000 temporary play park on the site in Queen’s Drive.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:44

Aaron Mills, of Capel Lane, pleaded guilty at Exeter Magistrates Court to criminal damage at Fever and Boutiqpue Nightclub, in The Parade.

Read more
Tue, 17:52

Christopher Jackson, 23, of Staple Mews, was caught with a Glock pistol-styled BB gun by door staff outside Fever and Boutique Nightclub, magistrates told.

Read more
Tue, 17:29

Nathaniel Darby, 23, of Nelson Drive, admitted possession of the controlled drug at Exeter Magistrates Court.

Read more
Tue, 17:21

More than 1,200 tonnes of rubbish was recycled in East Devon over Christmas and New Year - the equivalent of six blue whales.

Read more
Tue, 15:39

“With a very kind donation like this, it will help us to get our minibus sooner, which will not only help out the members of Exmouth Gateway and their football team, Exmouth Tigers, but also other charities around Exmouth.” - Exmouth Gateway Club

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel


Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications