County council approves £3million flood action plan

Previous flooding at Uplyme. Picture: SUBMITTED

Previous flooding at Uplyme. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

More than 300 homes and businesses will benefit from greater flood protection in the next year as part of Devon County Council’s (DCC) flood risk management action plan.

The county council’s cabinet approved a £3million plan yesterday (Wednesday) to address the highest priority communities at risk of flooding – exceeding last year’s investment by £1million.

In the past year, major improvement schemes have been completed at Axminster Millbrook and Braunton. A number of other schemes are already underway, including the installation of new culverts at Uplyme.

The schemes in this year’s action plan will increase the resilience of a number of communities.

Final details and a business case are also being prepared for a surface water improvement scheme in Sidmouth.

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Councillor Roger Croad, DCC’s cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “This winter has been another reminder of the flood risk which is still very real across Devon and compared to last year we are drawing down an extra £1million of Defra Grant in Aid to deliver schemes over the next 12 months.

“Our prioritised approach through our action plan is making a difference and is reducing flood risk to some of the most vulnerable areas in the county.”

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New studies will be funded to progress designs for potential schemes in future.

Studies are underway in Barnstaple, Beeson and Broadhempston, while further investigations are being carried out in Exmouth, Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, South Pool and Ugborough.

The County Council is also working in partnership with the Environment Agency on Natural Flood Management pilot studies. This includes an initiative which will run in Ottery St Mary over the next two years, working collaboratively with the East Devon Catchment Partnership, to test how these techniques can enhance engineered flood defences and help reduce run-off.

More than 20 properties have benefited from the installation of up to £5,000 worth of flood resilience measures through the County Council’s Property Level Resilience (PLR) grant scheme, and applications have been received for more than20 more.

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