Braunton’s completed flood defence improvement scheme, designed to reduce the risk of flooding in the village, will be officially unveiled this week.
It has been completed by the Environment Agency after six months of work. The vital £1.2 million improvement works have been completed at Hordens Bridge, the village's memorial gardens, at the Bowling Club and behind Caen Street Shops.
Chairman of the South West Flood and Coastal Erosion Committee, James Morrish, will officially open the new improvements at a special ceremony in the Memorial Gardens at 1.30pm on Thursday 28 June.
During the unveiling, the Reverend Anne Thorne will dedicate the memorial rose garden and an oak tree, with pupils from the local Caen Primary School in attendance.
Following the floods in the village in 2004, the Environment Agency created a flood defence plan, working in liaison with the parish council.
Rosie Carr, Environment Agency Project Manager, said: ‘We have worked closely with local residents and our partners to deliver a scheme that will minimise the effects of flooding and reduce the damage it causes. Our flood schemes help prepare communities for future increases in flooding and a changing climate.
‘We have created a river walk upstream of the Memorial shelter in the gardens. This walkway can be flooded at times of high river flows, but will prevent water flooding across the gardens. The gardens have been be landscaped, and a strip raised adjacent to Chalenors Road. At the bowling club we have widened the river adjacent to the car park.’
The river bed between the bowling club and the Memorial Gardens was very narrow and restricted flows in the river. By widening the river at this location the risk of flood can be reduced.
The flooding of Caen Street from the river has around a 1 in 20 chance of happening in any one year but the new works will reduce this to a 1 in 100 chance of occurring.
The Environment Agency has built a flood relief culvert around Hordens Bridge, between the bridge and Scores Farm. On the opposite bank, flood walls have been built and an existing wall utilised to create a low defence barrier upstream of the bridge.
Working with the Agency, Halcrow designed the scheme and the works were carried out by Team Van Oord.