Cash injection for Exeter Flood Defence Scheme
A new flood defence scheme for Exeter has been given a major boost – a £3 million cash injection from Exeter City Council.
The city council has put its “money where its mouth is” and handed over a £3 million cheque to the Environment Agency as its contribution to the £30 million scheme.
Work has already begun on the multi-million pound scheme, with the aim to complete the work by late 2017.
Once finished, the scheme will reduce flood risk to over 3,000 residential and commercial properties in the city.
Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for City Development, said: “We were keen to show our commitment to this scheme and what better way can there be than putting our money where our mouth is!
“Now we have handed over the funds, we look forward to the scheme progressing and ultimately better protection for the people of Exeter from flooding.”
The scheme is being funded largely by the government, with £3 million contributions from both Exeter City Council and Devon County Council. South West Water supports the scheme and is hoping to confirm a contribution soon.
George Arnison, of the Environment Agency, said: “Flooding can have a devastating impact on people and property and as a result it is even more important that the Environment Agency work in partnership with others.
“I am therefore delighted that Exeter City Council along with Devon County Council have supported this partnership approach with a financial contribution and personal commitment from officers and councillors within both their organisations to ensure this scheme is delivered for the benefit of the local community and beyond.”
The scheme is being constructed in two phases. Phase one will help to reduce flood risk to some of the most vulnerable areas of the city and is expected to be completed by spring 2015.
Already crews have been deepening the existing Trew’s flood relief channel and lowering the side spill weir at the top of the channel. This will increase its flow capacity and help reduce flood risk during heavy rain. The check weir at the downstream end of the flood relief channel will also be removed to increase capacity. This will mean that the bottom of the channel may be submerged during high tides.
A small meandering stream through the centre of the flood relief channel will improve the habitat for wildlife. The partnership will also be constructing fish passes on Trew’s weir and the side spill weir and putting in a low level pedestrian access across the middle of the flood relief channel.
Material removed from excavation of the flood relief channel is being temporarily stored on Bromham’s Farm playing field, and then re-used during phase two of the project. This will reduce the need for construction traffic to bring in new material. This will change the landscape during the storage period but the partnership is hoping that people will remain patient during this period and understand the reasons why this approach is being taken.
Public access to the ‘island’ between the River Exe and the Trew’s flood relief channel will be maintained during construction. The footpath and cyclepath alongside Trew’s flood relief channel will remain open. However, there could be delays due to lorry movements across the path. Signs will direct people to alternative routes alongside Exeter Canal while this work is ongoing.
(from a press release)