Moves being made over Tipton river bank fears- EDDC

PUBLISHED: 13:52 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:17 17 June 2010

STEPS are being taken to reduce the risk a dramatically receding river bank near Tipton St John poses to half a million pounds worth of bungalows which house elderly and disabled tenants, say East Devon District Council.

STEPS are being taken to reduce the risk a dramatically receding river bank near Tipton St John poses to half a million pounds worth of bungalows which house elderly and disabled tenants, say East Devon District Council.

Residents in Tipton Vale, Metcombe, have voiced fears that four EDDC owned bungalows, designated as sheltered accommodation, could fall into the River Otter if nearby land continues to erode and have raised their concerns with local MP Angela Browning.

This week EDDC told the Herald that "in view of rapid changes to the river and exceptional weather conditions" it has sought advice from the Environment Agency with a view to appointing a consultant engineer to advise it over future repair work.

A privately owned stretch of nearby river bank has been rock-armoured, a measure described as "extremely effective" by Environment agency officials in November.

Residents want to see similar action taken and believe it would cost around £80,000. They added the properties have been collectively valued at a minimum of £550,000.

John Cater, whose family owns the receding strip of land said he had "no objection whatsoever" to any work being carried out.

He added: "We have no problem with work being carried out to stop our land washing away and are definitely not standing in anyone's way. We can't fund it ourselves with all the rules and regulations, you are not talking about a few hundred quid here- it is a specialist job."

Tipton Vale home-owner David Jones said the close knit community worried for the bungalow tenants and action needs to be taken.

"We are all worried about our properties along here from both sides, there is a threat of erosion and flooding. Properties are becoming devalued and our insurance premiums could go up. Prevention is better than cure"

Councillor John Harding, who represents Tipton on Ottery town council, said he is optimistic over the matter. He added: "I believe progress is being made, albeit quite slowly. It is a major step forward and I appreciate that something has been done."

An EEDC spokeswoman said John Golding, head of housing and social inclusion wrote to residents in December acknowledging their concerns and that officers had visited the properties to gage their flood risk.

She added the properties were not currently at risk from flooding as they were built approximately 1.5 metres above the river level.


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