Over the last month the Environment Agency and its partners have held a series of local meetings and drop-in sessions as part of the public consultation on future plans for managing tidal flood risk and coastal erosion around the shores of the Exe Estuary
Around 400 local residents and business people have already attended events to find out more about future proposals for improving flood defences in some places and changing the way that defences are managed in others.
At the latest public meeting in Topsham the audience were able to view a short film produced by the Living with a Changing Coast (LiCCo) project, which shows differing viewpoints on sea level rise and coastal change in the Exe Estuary. Martin Davies of the Environment Agency was also able to provide reassurance that no new intertidal habitat would be created in the Lower Clyst Valley without landowner agreement. The Environment Agency recognises that local people have concerns about flooding of the Topsham to Clyst St George road and has pledged to work with Devon County Council, (the highways authority) and its other partners to resolve this issue as part of any future proposals. This could involve, for example, measures to raise the road in future and provide erosion protection to the bridge.
Work on the Exe Estuary Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy has already helped to unlock new funding worth £8.6m from central Government for a proposed beach management scheme at Dawlish Warren and Exmouth. This will reduce the flood risk to 2880 properties and will help to protect the main national rail line.
The Strategy takes into account predicted changes in sea level rise up to 2110 and sets out recommendations for improvements at Exmouth, Topsham, Starcross and Dawlish Warren. There is still time to have your say until the public consultation closes on 4th March. See www.environment-agency.gov.uk/exe/estuary to find out more and for details on how to comment.
Notes for editors
• For more information please contact Martin Davies at the Environment Agency on 01392 354133 or email@example.com
• The Exe Estuary film, produced by the Living with a Changing Coast project can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am5msVhMuDY