Multi-million pound Exmouth tidal defence plans win town council backing

PUBLISHED: 15:46 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 03 December 2018

Strong winds picked up the seas and caused the first of this winter's storms to hit Exmouth this week. Ref exe 0748-46-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Strong winds picked up the seas and caused the first of this winter's storms to hit Exmouth this week. Ref exe 0748-46-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

Amended plans for a multi-million pound tidal defence improvement scheme in Exmouth have been given the backing of the town council.

Councillors reiterated their support for the scheme after the Environment Agency (EA) halted plans for a secondary seawall in front of properties in Morton Crescent.

The move followed outcry from residents in the seafront street.

The EA had previously included the proposal for the wall in the ‘full’ part of its hybrid application.

The amended proposal shows the wall plans moved into the ‘outline’ section to allow more time for consultation with Morton Crescent residents.

At a meeting of the town council’s planning committee, members voted to support the application.

Speaking at the meeting, resident Yvonne Cavill said: “The residents of Morton Crescent understand the need for flood defences to protect Exmouth from future flooding however the proposed plan to build an inner wall next to the current wall will have a severe and adverse affect on us all.

“The proposed new buttress wall would cause a number of problems including access and safety issues in particular for emergency vehicles.

“Some larger vehicles already have difficulty access the crescent and the west entrance is the most heavily used.

“If the new wall is going to be the way to go, the residents would actually like the current wall to be knocked down and rebuilt.

“This can actually be done from the roadside and everyone’s garden and parking spaces would be, therefore, minimally impacted.”

Councillor Maddie Chapman raised concerns about building a new sea wall behind an ‘already damaged’ outer wall.

She told the committee meeting: “Knowing the sea as we all do, if it is hit by strong tides then the boulders and bricks and all the rubble from the existing wall will hit the new wall.

“I am firmly of the opinion that the wall should be taken down and rebuilt - keeping the character of the area - and make it a proper defence but using the material that’s already there and digging foundations because in the era the walls were built they were not very good.”

East Devon District Council will make the final decision on the planning application at a later date.

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