Flood defences at Dawlish Warren, Exmouth, Topsham, Starcross and Powederham Banks will be progressed at the ‘earliest opportunity’, the Environment Agency (EA) has said, following general approval of the draft Exe Estuary Strategy.
The EA has been involved in discussions with partners in the Strategy, including Devon County Council, Network Rail, Natural England and East Devon District, Teignbridge District and Exeter City councils. The Agency has also listened to local opinion and has modified its proposals accordingly, it said.
Most of the recommendations in the draft Strategy will remain unchanged, meaning the flood defences will get the go ahead as soon as possible.
Proposals to create habitat on the East bank of the River Clyst have been withdrawn due to public concern over the effect on the road, loss of farmland and cost.
However, proposals to create habitat in the Kenn Valley and on the West Bank of the River Clyst remain, with an assurance that monitoring will be put in place to assess the condition of the bridge and banks in the area.
There is no immediate funding available for Devon County Council to improve the C527 road across Topsham Flats and so the risk of flooding from high river flows and high tides will not be addressed at this stage.
Consultation on the strategy closed in March with the EA receiving over 150 responses. During the six week consultation period, nearly 500 local people came to drop-in sessions and public meetings to find out more about future proposals for managing tidal flood risk to communities around the Exe Estuary.
The Environment Agency is contacting everybody who responded to the public consultation with details about how the draft strategy is being amended and what happens next.