Countdown begins for ‘long overdue’ £3million flood prevention work ‘badly needed’ by an East Devon village

‘Long overdue’ £3million flood prevention work for an East Devon village is set to start within months.

The last phase of a flood protection scheme for the East Devon village of Feniton is due to begin this spring, writes local democracy reporter Will Goddard.

The newer part of the village has flooded every year since it was built in the late 1960s, with homes affected roughly every two to three years.

Feniton

The fire service attend flooding in Feniton.
Photo: EDDC.

East Devon

Feniton Flood Alleviation Scheme map.
Image: EDDC.

There was a serious deluge in late October 2008, when as many as 58 households were up to a metre deep in water.

A scheme was designed in 2015 to tackle the problem. Split into four phases, it should protect 72 at-risk properties by diverting floodwater from above Feniton, through a large pipe more than one metre in diameter, down to a new section of open channel south of the village.

Phases one and two were completed in 2016, and phase three in 2022 after years of delays caused by the pandemic and funding issues.

Phase four is due to start this spring, and East Devon District Council’s cabinet agreed this week to enter a contract of up to £3 million with Kier Integrated Services to complete the project.

East Devon

A district council image shows previous Feniton flooding.
Photo: EDDC.

The majority of the funding is reportedly coming in a grant from the Environment Agency.

Cllr Marianne Rixson (Lib Dem, Sidmouth Sidford) described the scheme as “long overdue” and “badly needed” by Feniton.

Cllr Paul Arnott (Lib Dem, Coly Valley) added: “This is a legacy issue that you’d have thought maybe people would have predicted this in the 60s and 70s and 80s, and in the end we and government have had to pick up.”

Cllr Geoff Jung (Lib Dem, Woodbury and Lympstone) said: “This is simply agreeing to the contract with Kier, who will be taking on the completion of the Feniton flood scheme.

“Kier have previously carried out successful works at Exmouth estuary and at Lower Otter which despite the construction, noise and traffic went very smoothly with a minimum of problems experienced by local residents.

“I’m really looking forward to these works eventually being completed, starting works this spring.”

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