Council plan to reduce flood risk to properties

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 7:17am

Thousands of homes and businesses will have their flood risk reduced with the potential work Devon County Council is involved in delivering over the coming years.

Devon County Council’s Cabinet will be asked next week (Wednesday 11 March) to approve the flood risk action plan for the coming financial year.

The proposed Action Plan for 2015/16 includes a number of schemes that will benefit in excess of 200 properties, while a number of proactive studies for future schemes is being developed in line with Defra’s 6 year programme.

Around 150 properties have already been provided with improved flood protection this year, as a result of the works delivered by Devon County Council, and in some cases through partnership working with the Environment Agency and District or Parish Councils.

Successful schemes have been completed or are under construction in  Branscombe, Axminster, Broadhembury, Goveton, Shaldon, Yealmpton and Ivybridge.

Devon County Council has carried out more than £66,000 of minor highway improvements to reduce the risk of flooding to properties caused by surface runoff from the highway or blocked/damaged highway assets, such as drains and gullies.

Work has been completed in Newton Poppleford, Broadclyst, Stoke Canon, Bere Ferris, Kingsteignton, Stockland, Yealmpton, Sidmouth, Rockbeare, Axminster, Pinhoe, Whipton, Kingskerswell, Stokeinteignhead and Braunton to benefit more than 70 properties which have previously flooded or are at risk of flooding.

A £200,000 flood improvement scheme  has also been designed for Millbrook in Axminster to reduce the risk of flooding to those that suffered flooding in 2012.

The County Council is investing £215,000 on Surface Water Management Plans which have been completed in Braunton and Sidmouth, while another is nearing completion in Exeter and a detiled detailed options appraisal is underway for a Flood Management Scheme in Modbury - all are subject to bids for Defra's "Flood Defence Grant in Aid".

Flood studies and investigations are also underway in Umberleigh, Cullompton, Kingsbridge, Uplyme, Lympstone and Chillington.

Devon County Council is also providing funding support to:

  • The Exeter Flood Defence Scheme, which aims to protect over 5,000 residential and commercial properties, led by the Environment Agency
  • Flood improvements in Kennford protecting 40 properties, also led by the Environment Agency
  • Flood improvements in Ivybridge, which is being delivered in partnership with South Hams District Council
  • A major flood alleviation project in Feniton, led by East Devon District Council
  • A flood study in Barnstaple, in partnership with North Devon Council

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, said: “The County Council is being proactive in its role as Lead Local Flood Authority and it's extremely positive that 150 properties are better protected this year, and that many more will be in the years to come.

"The programme of work for the next year has been developed and prioritised as a result of the widespread flooding experienced in Devon over recent years. 

"The extent of flooding throughout the county has meant that there are plenty of communities who need help to reduce the risk of flooding, and the studies being carried out are identifying the best options for reducing flood risk.

"The work outlined in the Action Plan is designed to improve protection for communities as well as individual properties. It’s essential that it is addressed in order to benefit Devon’s economy and the health and wellbeing of affected communities and individuals."

The Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder project, a two year project funded by Defra, is in its final stages and has helped 24 communities to prepare emergency action plans and self-help resilience measures. It’s estimated that over 4,000 properties will benefit either directly or indirectly from the project.

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