As the Lead Local Flood Authority, we are committed to the delivery of flood improvement works to vulnerable communities in Devon.
In partnership with other risk management authorities such as district councils, the Environment Agency, South West Water and Devon Highways, we look for synergies and overlaps in order to ensure that flood risk is investigated and resolved in a coordinated manner where possible.
Where a flood risk has been identified, we work with our consultants and design teams to investigate, optioneer and promote effective options that fit within achievable funding opportunities. Depending on the source and extent of flood risk, the options and form of new defences can vary. These range from ‘hard’ engineering measures such as new culverts, flood relief channels, flood walls and embankments, to ‘soft’ engineering measures, known as Natural Flood Management. These Natural Flood Management techniques aim to slow the flow in the upper catchments such as woody debris dams, field buffer strips and soil management. These more natural measures can stand alone, or support and enhance a hard engineering scheme. Where significant improvements cannot be installed, properties at risk can be supplied with Property Level Resilience measures such as flood doors, boards, airbrick covers and non-return valves in order to limit the impact of flood water coming into contact with the building.
Funding for flood risk management schemes can be obtained from various sources, these include Devon’s allocated budget toward flood improvement measures, the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee administered Local Levy pot, contributions from other Risk Management Authorities, private contributions from local businesses/property owners benefitting from the scheme and Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding allocated by HM Treasury and administered by the Environment Agency. The current national funding mechanism stipulates the requirement of partnership funding toward Flood Defence Grant in Aid funded works; and as part of the role DCC perform, we will approach affected stakeholders in order to coordinate contributions and produce business case documents to support flood defence scheme applications.
As part of the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, each year DCC allocate funding to support flood scheme development and delivery throughout the County, forming part of the Action Plan approved by cabinet members. This gives authority for money to be spent in those locations deemed high priority and most at risk as well as give the flexibility to promote works in a location where the opportunity arises.
Current flood schemes
DCC has an input in flood schemes over a number of locations throughout the County. This includes contributions to works by others, investigations and physical improvement works. All of DCCs current schemes and their progress can be viewed on the DCC Environment Viewer interactive map. Individual case studies can be accessed below.
The Axminster Millbrook Flood Alleviation scheme is now complete and fully operational. The £1.3m scheme reduces flood risk to over 160 properties up to the 100 year flood event and includes channel widening, a flood defence wall and major culvert alterations to convey the flow more efficiently away from those at risk of flooding.
This challenging project, due to its interaction and close proximity to the main Waterloo railway line and residential property was delivered by our contractor South West Highways following detailed design by DCCs in-house Engineering Design Group.
The detailed design of the proposed flood relief culvert that will benefit 20 residential properties in north west Ivybridge is now underway. This includes ground radar scans to locate buried underground services, so that any potential clashes can be designed out before getting to site in 2018. The business case for scheme funding will be submitted before Christmas and land owner negotiations are also to be progressed shortly. In addition to the flood relief culvert, natural flood risk management measures are proposed upstream to reduce the flow getting to the properties at risk. Subject to land owner agreements, baseline monitoring will be installed early 2018.
Following the successful business case submission to the Environment Agency, full funding has now been obtained for the flood alleviation scheme in Modbury that will reduce the risk of flooding to 50 residential and 32 commercial properties up to the 100 year flood event, by constructing three large earthwork bunds to contain flood water, interception ditches and local drainage improvements. Subject to final land owner permissions being signed, the scheme will look to start on site early 2018 with completion targeted by September 2018.
Phase 2 of the Braunton Caen Street flood improvement scheme is now on site, due for completion at the end of November. Phase 2 includes the provision of a pumping station that will supplement the vastly improved highway drainage works that took place earlier in 2017. When operational, flood risk in the area will be reduced up to the 50 year flood event.
The final modelling exercise and options assessment for the proposed Stokeinteignhead Flood Alleviation works has now been completed. The report has identified that storing water in the upper catchment is the most beneficial option in terms of reducing the risk of flooding. Our in-house Engineering Design Group is now busy developing the proposal of two water storage areas (one on the eastern catchment and one on the southern catchment), to take it to outline design and to a point where a planning submission can be made, supported by the specialist investigations we have commissioned to date including geotechnical investigations, landscape assessment, ecological baseline studies and historic environment desktop study.