Boscastle flood defences go ahead

Prior to August 2004, the village of Boscastle enjoyed relative obscurity and was known, if at all, as a pretty cliff-side port on the north coast of Cornwall.

Severe weather changed all that and, as images of roads turned into rivers were beamed around the world, Boscastle became synonymous with flooding.

As might be expected with such a high-profile disaster, the authorities have since pulled out all the stops to try to ensure there is not a repeat of the floods and this week local planners made a decision which will allow national agencies to press on with their protective plans.

The Environment Agency will now forge ahead with its £4.6 million flood defence scheme at Boscastle after planners approved the replacement Lower Bridge which is a key part of the project.

The decision comes after several months of work by the Environment Agency, the National Trust and their consultants to fine tune the design of the new bridge.

"We have worked closely with the local community, the National Trust and its architectural panel and the Boscastle Bridge Working Group to ensure the new bridge design is sympathetic with its surroundings and links in with the area's industrial past," said Gordon Trapmore for the Environment Agency.

"This decision is good news as the replacement bridge is an essential element of the scheme. We can now ensure that the local residents, homes and businesses in the harbour area will benefit from the flood defences as well as those further up the valley.'

The existing Lower Bridge was damaged in the flood of August 2004 and planning permission has already been granted for its demolition and replacement.

Work to prepare the foundations for the new bridge will now start in October.

Sam Bond



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