Otter flood project: ‘no significant cliff impact’

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 November 2016

23-05-0399SH Otter Estuary

23-05-0399SH Otter Estuary

Archant

A report has been published exploring the possible effects of the Lower Otter Restoration Project on ‘abandoned’ cliffs in Budleigh Salterton.

The report, put together by geological researcher Ramues Gallois, suggests that there will not be any ‘significant’ impact on the cliffs by the flooding project.

Stakeholders in the project are looking at ways to improve the Otter Estuary.

One of the options is to breach 200-year-old sea defences in the mouth of the River Otter to allow the water to flow more naturally.

A ‘seasonally-flooded’ footpath close to the Granary Lane cliffs could be upgraded under the plan.

This new report suggests the project is unlikely cause extra erosion to the cliffs.

The report said: “The degree to which the proposed Lower Otter Restoration Project will affect the cliffs will depend on two factors: the height of the improved public footpath and the maximum predicted height of flood and/or tidal waters once the restoration is in place.

“Given that one of the stated intentions of the project is to improve public access, this will presumably involve building a new path that will be sufficiently high for it not to be overtopped, except by unusually high water levels.

“It is also anticipated that the proposed scheme will reduce the water level of future floods. If the height of the new path is such that it is never overtopped, then the project will obviously have no effect on the cliffs.

“If the footpath is overtopped at times of river flooding, then it will protect the area between it and the cliff from strong waves or currents.

“The water will not have any significant effect on erosion at the foot of the cliffs.”

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