Tipton river bank erosion plea

PUBLISHED: 14:36 05 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:07 17 June 2010

CONCERNED Tipton St John residents who fear their homes may fall into the River Otter have pleaded with East Devon District Council to act over flooding problems or face losing half a million pounds worth of its assets.

CONCERNED Tipton St John residents who fear their homes may fall into the River Otter have pleaded with East Devon District Council to act over flooding problems or face losing half a million pounds worth of its assets.

Tenants of four EDDC- owned bungalows in Tipton Vale, who are all over sixty and have disabling conditions, fear a dramatically receding river bank will claim their homes, collectively valued at £550,000.

Tipton has been plagued by flooding problems in recent months, with its paying field and tennis courts left under water twice in six weeks at the end of last year, with downpours also taking their toll on the river's banks.

One land owner has resorted to rock -armouring a stretch of the river edge from the Tipton Vale bungalows to the village's bridge and residents are desperate for EDDC to implement similar measures.

In a petition to the council signed by 13 worried tenants, the residents said: "Our concern is that the river edge in front of the council bungalows remains unprotected. The river continues to erode the bank, in fact since the storm (of October 30) has greatly exacerbated the damage. We believe that before too long the bungalows most at risk will fall into the river.

"We ask the council to protect these properties"

The residents said the land in question is privately owned but believe a compromise has to be reached.

"We would hope the land owner would co operate with the council, if not, we believe that there are legal steps that can be taken by EDDC to protect its property."

Estimated costs of armouring the bank are around £80,000.

Environment Agency representative Bryn Williams surveyed the stretch in November and in a letter to Ottery St Mary Town Council said: "I note that considerable sections of riverbank are being lost. The recent flood on the River Otter was significant and has served to accelerate the erosion somewhat.

"If the erosion continues at its present rate, it may be prudent to provide some protection to the riverbank. This will help secure the buffer to the properties which are located close to the riverbank.

"Works constructed downstream of this point have been extremely effective in resisting the progressive erosion taking place in this location."

Any work to the riverbank will require land drainage consent from The Environment Agency.

EDDC was unavailable for comment.


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