The Environment Agency has been working in collaboration with East Devon District Council since 2015 to develop a new tidal defense scheme for Exmouth.
The need for the new defense scheme for Exmouth was initially identified as part of a flood risk management strategy for the whole of the Exe Estuary.
Following analysis by the Environment Agency of possible flood scenarios for today, and in the future, it was recommended that Exmouth’s existing defenses should be improved in the short term.
After gathering feedback from local people after a public consultation event in 2016, the Environment Agency concluded that flood risk should be reduced from the current 1-in-25-year risk (4% chance of flooding in any year) to 1-in-200-year (0.5% chance).
Team Van Oord (TVO) were awarded the design and build contract for the Exmouth tidal defense scheme in October 2017.
The contractors are working on an outline design, which includes 3 areas:
- Area A – on the estuary side of Exmouth; it will involve raising flood defenses between the Withycombe Brook and the Imperial recreation ground.
- Area B – around the ‘gut’; it will raise defences between the Imperial recreation ground and Camperdown Terrace.
- Area C – involves the seafront, including the Esplanade from Mamhead slipway in the west, to between the clock tower and Premier Inn to the east. Works will include strengthening the existing seawall, and new set-back defenses along the landward side of the Esplanade.
Over the coming months the project team, working with the designers from TVO, will be working on the detail of these designs.
The Environment Agency will need planning permission for the majority of the flood defense works and it’s anticipated that a planning application will be submitted to the planning authority later next year.
If the planning permission is granted next year, the Environment Agency is planning to start construction in early 2019. Some work may be possible earlier if the relevant consents are in place.