A new flood wall that forms part of a £12million bid to protect Exmouth from the sea has been given the go-ahead.
The six-and-a-half-metre-high defence, spanning the length of Morton Crescent, on the Esplanade, was approved by East Devon District Council (EDDC).
It will replace the existing boundary which varies in appearance, is ‘in poor state of repair in places’ and is around a metre shorter.
The Environment Agency (EA) submitted a reserved matters application detailing access, appearance, landscaping layout and scale for the new wall and pedestrian flood gates
EDDC officers said the new structure is ‘likely to be more pleasing to the eye’ and ‘would create a more resilient secondary defence into the future’.
The purpose of the wall is to act as a ‘secondary’ sea defence and create a ‘holding tank’ in periods of wave overtopping.
Concerns had been raised by local residents over how surface water within the gardens of properties in Morton Crescent would be dealt with in times of flood. It was feared the new wall and gates would not allow any flow back towards the sea.
However, the EA said a drainage pipe will be installed behind the wall to discharge surface water when the flood gates are closed.
Worries over access for fire engines and ambulances were also downplayed.
Recommending the proposals for approval, an EDDC officer said: “The proposed wall would perform an important function, its design, alignment and pedestrian flood gates are considered acceptable and not impacting unreasonably on its surroundings, the setting of the listed sea wall, the character an appearance of the conservation area or highway safety.”
Plans were approved by EDDC’s development management committee on June 11.
The new flood wall along Morton Crescent is part of the Exmouth Tidal Defence Scheme, which will protect 1,800 properties from the sea.