Sidmouth residents say Knowle developer has failed to alleviate flash flood risk fears

PUBLISHED: 06:26 06 December 2016

Ed Dolphin pictured in Knowle's gardens

Ed Dolphin pictured in Knowle's gardens

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PegasusLife insists plans will reduce surface water by 50 per cent

Concerned residents say PegasusLife has failed to alleviate their fears that plans for a 113-home retirement community at Knowle will pose an increased flood risk.

The developer recently refuted claims that it has incorporated ‘minimalist mitigation measures’ and said its proposals would actually reduce peak discharge rates by 50 per cent.

But this week objector Ed Dolphin reiterated concerns and claimed PegasusLife’s plan to install a 90-cubic metre capacity attenuation tank would not withstand heavy storms which could deliver five times that in rain water.

The Knowle Drive resident said: “PegasusLife’s own figures are stacked against them.

“The latest proposed drainage scheme ignores the fact that the total flow from the site will be redistributed from the current pattern with a significant increase in the impervious surface at the highest point of the development. If EDDC passes this planning application as it stands, I pity the people who live in lower Knowle Drive, or the Station Road area downhill from the Woodlands Hotel.”

He added that drains in lower Knowle Drive overflowed in the heavy rainstorm of last weekend and argued that the planned development would only exacerbate the risk of flash flooding.

A spokeswoman for PegasusLife said: “The technical plans are designed to meet the National Planning Policy framework and the Government’s sustainable drainage system requirements.

“The measures proposed in our application ensure the amount of water running off the site would be half the current amount. This is a significant improvement over the existing situation.

“The current site directly discharges into the South West Water sewer network without any attenuation. The proposed development reduces the risk of flooding downstream and provides a considerable betterment to the local drainage networks.”

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