The Environment Agency has published a document to show the environmental impact of the first phase of Exeter’s multi-million pound flood defence scheme.
The scheme is being jointly funded by the Environment Agency, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council, and ultimately will reduce the risk of flooding for over 3,200 homes and businesses across the city. It is planned to construct the scheme in two phases over the next four years.
The published environmental statement describes what will be done to minimise adverse impacts and improve the local environment during the first phase of the works. It will be available for 28 days for anyone who wishes to provide comments in relation to the likely environmental effects of the proposed improvement works.
The Environment Agency, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council will use the Environmental Statement, and the comments received on it, to assess the effects of the work on the environment and inform their final decision about whether the work should proceed.
The proposed improvement works to the flood defence on the River Exe in Exeter are between Exe Railway Bridge and Ducks Marsh. Works are planned to begin in 2014. There will be some preparatory vegetation clearance work over this winter, with construction work starting in the spring.
The phase one works will include:
• Removal and management of vegetation near Exe Railway Bridge (South of St David’s Station);
• Reducing the level of Trews side weir by 250mm to allow more floodwater into the relief channel;
• Lowering the bed of the Trews Weir flood relief channel along with some work to increase the flow capacity through the channel;
• A new meandering ditch will be placed through the centre of Trews Flood Relief Channel. This will replace the two existing ditches. A series of scrapes and shallow ponds, either side of the new ditch, will also be created. These will be planted with reeds and rushes;
• Removal and management of vegetation and trees under and next to Ducks Marsh Bridge and creation of a two stage channel to reinstate flood flow capacity. The channel will be deepened to improve flows;
• Creation of a flood relief channel through the existing woodland area near Ducks March Bridge. This will be done in a way to appear as natural as possible and provide habitat for wetland plants.
‘We need to start the first phase of work in early 2014 as some work, like vegetation clearance, needs to be done at specific times of year to minimise disturbance to the natural environment. Before work starts the partnership will be talking to people, likely to be affected during the work, to find out how it will affect them and what could be done to minimise disruption. The plans for the second phase of work are currently being developed. People will be asked for their views on these designs before summer 2014,’ said George Arnison for the Environment Agency.
Press Release, December 5, 2013