Exmouth’s multi-million pound tidal defence improvement scheme given green light

Photo of waves battering Exmouth's existing sea wall during 'Storm Callum' in October. Picture: Tom

Photo of waves battering Exmouth's existing sea wall during 'Storm Callum' in October. Picture: Tom Hurley - Credit: Tom Hurley

‘Lives will be saved’ by a new flagship £12m tidal defence scheme to protect Exmouth from flooding.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) development management committee unanimously approved the Environment Agency (EA) scheme to reduce the risk of flooding from the sea to more than 1,400 homes and 400 businesses in the town on Tuesday (January 9) morning.

The £12 million scheme will reduce the annual flood risk from four per cent to less than one per cent.

It will include:

• Flood embankments and walls between the Withycombe Brook and Imperial recreation ground.

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• Raised defences between the Imperial recreation ground and Camperdown Terrace.

• Strengthening the existing seawall, improving drainage for water to drain back out to sea, flood gates and new set-back defences along the landward side of the Esplanade.

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Full planning permission for a tidal defence scheme comprising flood walls, embankments and gates for the areas around the Estuary and Camperdown Creek was granted, as was outline permission for proposed road alignments and flood defence gates or wall at the Alexandra Terrace Junction with the Esplanade and in front of Moreton Crescent.

Listed building consent for strengthening works, insertion of drainage holes, installation of square plates and works associated with installation of flood gates and posts to Exmouth Sea Wall was also approved.

Cllr Susie Bond, EDDC’s lead councillor for flooding, moved that the scheme be approved, saying: “This is a fantastic, and a huge and complex scheme. It will protect 1,400 houses so on that basis this should be applauded.”

Cllr Paul Carter said that it would fantastic when this was in place, Cllr Mark Williamson said that the large and complex scheme would bring huge public benefits, and Cllr Bruce de Saram added: “It is a very good project. There are some issues to determine but it will give great benefit to the town and save lives in the event of flooding.”

Construction is set begin early in 2019 and should be complete by 2021. Work will be scheduled to avoid disruption to winter birds on the estuary and the summer holidays on the seafront.

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