£750k scheme to protect Sidmouth homes from flooding gets rubber stamp of approval

Devon County Hall, where the inquest was held.

Devon County Hall, where the inquest was held. - Credit: Archant

A £759,000 scheme to protect Sidmouth homes that are at risk of flooding has been rubber stamped by council bosses.

Stuart Hughes. Ref shs 22 18TI 4996. Picture: Terry Ife

Stuart Hughes. Ref shs 22 18TI 4996. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The Sidmouth Surface Water Improvement Scheme is a two-phase project which, once completed, will reduce the flood risk to around 100 properties in the town.

Dependent on funding and planning permission being granted, the work could start as early as January 2019.

The first stage involves the construction of a new, larger drainage system in the town centre. The includes new highway gullies that will divert surface water directly into the River Sid through a series of new outlets.

Each of these outlets will be fitted with protective non-return flap-valves to prevent river flows backing-up.

The second phase will be the construction of an earth dam which will act as a surface water storage area at The Knowle. New gullies and a new piped system will also be installed to collect the surface water runoff and direct flows into this new storage area.

The dam will also have a controlled outlet to reduce the impact on the downstream drainage system by slowing down the flow. It is hoped these works will take place from autumn 2019,to minimise disruption over the summer.

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Devon County Council’s Cabinet approved the proposals at County Hall today (Wednesday).

County Councillor Stuart Hughes, who is responsible for highways, said: “I’m pleased that this scheme has been agreed by cabinet.

“We know from experience that parts of Sidmouth are particularly vulnerable to surface water flooding and we also know the impact flooding can have on homes and businesses – we saw that first hand in 2014 when 18 properties were flooded in the town. Once completed this scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to around 100 of the most vulnerable properties.”

Cllr Roger Croad, who is responsible for environmental services, added: “This scheme is vital for Sidmouth - it is one of the council’s highest priorities for flood improvements. I am looking forward to working with our partners East Devon District Council, the Environment Agency, Southwest Water and Jacobs to deliver it. A number of detailed investigations have been carried out to develop this scheme in order to protect as many properties as possible.”