First phase of Sidmouth flood prevention scheme aims to protect 100 properties

Plans for the first phase of a scheme to reduce flood risk to more than 100 homes and businesses in Sidmouth are due to be submitted next week, it has been revealed.

Devon County Council is submitting the plans, which aims to provide protection from surface water around The Knowle area of the town.

It has updated Sidmouth Town Council on the latest designs to inform local councillors of the scheme arrangements.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “Sidmouth has been identified as one of a series of priority areas across Devon where action is need to reduce the risk of surface water flooding. The planned investment will include funding secured from central government, to match that provided by the County Council.”

The proposals include drains across Station Road to capture surface water flows. This 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. This design will also serve as a public amenity.

A filter drain will enable the water to be stored below ground with a capacity to contain water up to a one in 30-year storm event. The amphitheatre tiers will also enable up to half a metre of water to be stored above ground during a one in 100-year storm event.

A potential second phase of the scheme, not included in this current planning application, would upgrade drainage in the town, enabling it to discharge directly into the River Sid. New highway gullies would also be installed.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management and the Local Member for Sidmouth Sidford, said: “This flood alleviation scheme is extremely important for the town. A lot of investigation work has gone into working up the design of this scheme in order to increase the standard of flood protection in Sidmouth, so it’s encouraging to see that the application is now ready to be submitted.

“This scheme is a win-win for Sidmouth as not only will it reduce flood risk but it will also provide a performance area for events, including the Sidmouth Folk Festival.”

Councillor Ian Barlow, Chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, said: “The Town Council will always look to support any scheme that invests in protecting our population from the impacts of flooding whilst helping to improve the environment.”

The scheme has been developed through the county council’s Surface Water Management Plan for Sidmouth which was established after 18 properties in the town were flooded in November 2014.

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