Devon tidal defence scheme gets the go-ahead

Plans by the Environment Agency (EA) to build a new tidal defence scheme in Devon have been approved by Teignbridge District Council planning committee.

The £4m scheme, developed by engineering design consultancy Atkins, is expected to reduce flood risk to more than 410 properties in the Back Beach area of Teignmouth.

As part of the scheme, new flood defence walls, building on top of existing walls and using existing property frontages to increase protection have been proposed, while new flood gates will be operated by the Town Council.

Atkins was awarded the contract as a result of the successful design and delivery of its Shaldon and Ringmore tidal defences across the estuary, which were completed in the summer.

Atkins project manager Steve Barge said: “We have adopted the same collaborative approach for Teignmouth as we did with Shaldon, where we consulted extensively with the community, inviting input from residents and businesses as well as the local authorities at the earliest stages to perfectly understand potential impacts and to ensure that our design would be appropriate.

“This close engagement is vital to really understanding the requirements so that we can design a scheme that minimises flood risk and actually brings other benefits to the town.”

The scheme has also won two national awards: a Silver Considerate Contractor award and an EA award for Exemplar Safety, Health and Environment Performance.

Mayor of Teignmouth David Cox said: “I very much welcome this decision. It is very good news for Teignmouth. The Environment Agency did an excellent job on the flood defences at Shaldon and I am sure will do an equally good job at Teignmouth.”

Construction is expected to start in January 2012.

Carys Matthews

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