Splash zone flat plans prompt flood fears

PUBLISHED: 12:55 31 July 2015

Queens Drive Exmouth masterplan

Queens Drive Exmouth masterplan

Archant

District bosses have pledged to look 'carefully' at plans to build seafront flats just metres from where an ice-cream kiosk was washed into the sea.

Last month, East Devon District Council (EDDC) unveiled plans to develop a plot between the old Lifeboat Station and The Maer.

The draft plan, which includes a water splash zone, golf, eateries and a cinema, has outline permission for holiday accommodation.

However, the new plans include flats, some of which would be just 30 metres from the beach.

The land is classed by the Environment Agency (EA) as Flood Zone Three and this has already led to concerns from Councillor Eileen Wragg.

Now, Budleigh Salterton resident Helen Tickle has written to EDDC chief exceutive Mark Williams about her concerns. “The incorporation of flats drastically alters the scheme,” she said. “I believe that a site-specific flood risk assessment will be required, and significant change of use will be involved from recreational to residential.”

She added: “An application by EDDC to site beach huts all year round at Budleigh Salterton had to be withdrawn after EA objections were raised after the serious storms of recent years.”

An EDDC spokesman said: “These issues will be looked at carefully when the council looks at the detailed planning application later this year.”

A spokesman for the EA said for EDDC to gain its backing for the scheme it would have to demonstrate that there were no other ‘viable’ sites available - a ‘sequential test’ (ST).

He added: “The outline application we commented on did include some residential development.

“Our comments on flood risk advises EDDC that it would need to satisfy the ST as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

“The outline application was submitted with a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA), which we were happy with.

“The FRA would deal with matters like safe/sustainable development with respect to flood risk and impact on third parties flood risk. Residential development is in Flood Zone Three and we would want confirmation from EDDC that the ST had been satisfied.”

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