Repairs to flood-hit road leave it shut for seven weeks

Road closed

Road closed - Credit: Archant

Hollyhead Road in Beer will be shut for seven weeks due to drainage works, after heavy rain over the winter caused it to flood.

Devon County Council (DCC) is making improvements to highways that were unable to cope in the wet weather.

The Beer road was shut on April 6 is scheduled to be closed until Wednesday, May 25.

A recent meeting of the parish council heard that the flooding was exacerbated by run-off from a nearby pig farm run by Fawley Farms, which rotates its livestock around fields near the village.

Councillors Geoff Pook, Louise Harrison and Darren Clinch met with landowner Clinton Devon Estates and Fawley Farms to address the concerns.

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During the parish council’s annual meeting last Tuesday, Cllr Harrison said: “The field has been assessed and now deemed unsuitable for further inclusion in the rotation.

“This is despite additional works done to alleviate the flooding - ie drainage into the adjoining wood and ditch work within the field.

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“Works will be carried out this month to provide this essential drainage in order to prevent a recurrence in this area.”

Terry Ledbury, from Fawley Farms, said: “We have to look outside the box. We can’t go on making the roads muddy, dirty and dangerous.

“Rest assured, we are not going to let it happen.”

Mr Ledbury referred to the ‘severe flooding’ of Hollyhead Road this winter and said: “We will not be going on that bit [nearby fields] ever again. Not in my time - not on my watch.”

Cllr Pook said after the meeting that it was clear that the parish council was working with a responsible landowner in Clinton Devon Estates and Fawley Farms in addressing the problem. He added: “The whole situation was exacerbated because of the rain over the winter. Everything came together at the wrong time.”

The council also addressed concerns that the pigs would not move closer to the village.

Alternate routes during the drainage works - along the A3052 to Seaton, the B3172, Marlpit Lane, the B3174 and New Road - have been put in place by DCC.

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