A NEW fish ladder outside Tipton St John has been described by residents as ‘unnecessarily intrusive’ and an ‘eyesore’.

Sidmouth Herald: The weir outside Tipton St John in Autumn 2012The weir outside Tipton St John in Autumn 2012 (Image: Archant)

The project on the weir near Fluxton has cost more than £250,000 and is designed to help migrating fish such as brown trout up the river.

Sidmouth Herald: The Environment Agency sign refers to Tipton Street John WeirThe Environment Agency sign refers to Tipton Street John Weir (Image: Archant)

But contractors who carried out the work have left the area, which is popular with dog walkers, a building site; with piles of fencing, a stack of rocks and a portaloo still on the site.

Tipton resident Pat Cox regularly walks up to the weir and said she considered the new fish pass to be an eyesore.

She said: “They have killed the weir – water is surging down the fish pass but there’s none flowing over the rocks.”

“We used to love watching the fish but there’s no way to see them now because there’s a steel grate over the fish pass.”

“They may have improved things for the fish, but they’ve surely made it worse for the herons, dippers and wagtails.”

A sign erected by the Environment Agency explaining the purpose of the work angered some residents because it refers to the village as ‘Tipton Street John’.

A Fluxton resident who did not wish to be named said she believed the construction had taken far longer than it needed to and that the workers had left the site in a poor state.

She said: “I think it has destroyed a lovely corner of the field – it was very attractive before but the new fish pass is unnecessarily intrusive.”

“I’ve not spoken with a single person who is happy with it, and I’m worried however much they try to restore the area it will still look artificial.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency acknowledged that the work had taken longer than planned, and that there was some landscaping work still to be done.

He added: “After we have some heavy rainfall the water should start flowing over the weir again.”

What do you think of the new fish pass? Please email your comments to harvey.gavin@archant.co.uk