‘No extra flood risk to Clyst’ says Environment Agency

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.

0 comments

Other News Stories

St John's Court team manger Trevor Moir, Senior Mental Health Practicioner Steve Hammond and Dr Teg Freer are pictured seated on the new bench that was presented by the Mens' Shed this week. Ref exe 0590-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A men’s social group has once again come to the rescue by hand-crafting much-needed seating for a vital local service.

Read more
Hugo Swire stock picture

Hugo Swire’s election rivals have called on him to apologise after he was secretly filmed joking about welfare claimants at a Tory fundraiser.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:08
Rolle College, Exmouth.  Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 9254-18-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Community volunteers have sealed a deal to reopen part of the mothballed Rolle campus for the Exmouth Festival.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
A la Ronde Assistant House Steward James Weckmueller winds a Grandfather clock dating back to around 1820 which was made by David Whitelaw of Edinburgh. Every Sunday at noon during March visitors to the National Trust property can watch all the clocks in the house being wound and set. Ref exe 0537-12-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Visitors to A la Ronde this month have been watching the clocks at the National Trust house being wound and set.

Read more
Thu, 15:40
A rugby themed easter egg trail is taking place along the Exe Estuary

A special Easter egg hunt inspired by the Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off along the Exe Estuary Trail on Saturday, March 28.

Read more
Thu, 11:45
Ocean Blue. Ref exe 1212-33-14SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Leisure East Devon (LED) has announced it has agreed a 25-year lease to manage the Ocean Blue complex on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thu, 09:13
Topsham Devon Air Ambulance Trust is open for business again after a recent shop refurbishment. Cutting the ribbon is Tom Robertson, Chrissie Peel, Nigel Hare, Martin Bell and Sarah Woolfenden. Ref ext 1296-13-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

One of Topsham’s two Devon Air Ambulance shops held its grand re-opening on Saturday, March 21.

Read more
Wed, 15:11
Bus service cuts have been opposed by Budleigh Salterton Town Council.

Cuts to bus services in Budleigh Salterton could leave the town ‘cut off’ and affect its young people, representatives have warned.

Read more
Tue, 11:20
Exeter Crown Court.

An ambulance driver based in Exmouth has admitted driving on a forged licence. Eion Crowley, who was sacked from his job by managers, was given a two-year conditional discharge at Exeter Crown Court.

Read more
Tue, 09:32
Ref exe rolle college

Rolle College will almost certainly re-open in May, seven years after it was mothballed, and host the Exmouth Festival .

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition



Exmouth's trusted business finder