Public amphitheatre and Sidmouth flood prevention plans submitted

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 December 2019

Design of the Sidmouth Flood Alleviation Scheme for The Knowle Picture: Devon County Council

Design of the Sidmouth Flood Alleviation Scheme for The Knowle Picture: Devon County Council

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Plans to build a public amphitheatre and flooding preventions to protect 100 Sidmouth homes have been submitted to planning bosses for consideration.

Artist's impression of the proposed phase two works at the Knowle. Picture: Devon County CouncilArtist's impression of the proposed phase two works at the Knowle. Picture: Devon County Council

Devon County Council's own application for the scheme at the Knowle in Station Road has been revealed, with a grassed amphitheatre with stone steps and feature paving as a key feature.

The proposed development comprises of a surface water storage area to reduce flood risk to more than 100 residential properties across two phases of work within Sidmouth, helping to minimise vulnerability and improving resilience to climate change.

Other key features of the proposal include a flood storage area, associated earthworks for the flood storage area/amphitheatre, a drainage swale seeded with a wildflower grass mix, two pipeline connections into existing main water infrastructure, a vehicular access track with turning areas, new tree planting, a new access point and interpretation boards.

A statement submitted with the planning application says: "The works involve the creation of a surface water storage area at the Knowle which retains the site's use as public open space while also providing a venue for public events in the form of an amphitheatre.

Artist's impression of the proposed phase two works at the Knowle. Picture: Devon County CouncilArtist's impression of the proposed phase two works at the Knowle. Picture: Devon County Council

"The proposed scheme seeks to mitigate flood risk, while also creating a dual use public open space that can be used as a venue for public events such as the annual folk festival. It provides an important opportunity to not only provide flood risk and water quality benefits, but also to contribute to green infrastructure networks whilst contributing to safeguarding the local landscape character and distinctiveness."

The proposals include drains across Station Road to capture surface water flows, which will discharge via a pipe to a swale, or channel, through the parkland to a storage area at the lower end which will be constructed in the form of an amphitheatre.
The statement concludes: "Overall it is considered that the proposed scheme complies with national and local planning policies and provides a sustainable balance between the localised environmental disturbance and the social and economic benefits of reducing flood risk within Sidmouth while retaining public open space and providing an improved space for public events."
It is hoped that work on the first phase of the scheme can begin in Spring 2020, subject to planning permission.

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