13 October 2012 -- Plans to build a defence scheme to protect the Back Beach area of Teignmouth have been unanimously approved by Teignbridge District Council’s planning committee.
The £4 million Environment Agency scheme, which has been designed by engineering design consultancy Atkins, will reduce flood risk to more than 410 properties in the area. The proposals include new flood defence walls, building on top of existing walls and using existing property frontages to increase protection. New flood gates – essential components of the scheme - will be operated by the Town Council.
The design of the Teignmouth scheme was awarded to Atkins as a direct result of the project team’s successful design and delivery of the Shaldon and Ringmore tidal defences just across the estuary. Completed in summer 2011, the Shaldon and Ringmore scheme was praised for its high quality finish and won two national awards: a Silver Considerate Contractor Award for the respectful manner in which the works were undertaken and an Environment Agency award for Exemplar Safety, Health and Environment Performance.
Atkins project manager Steve Barge said: “Naturally we are delighted that the planning committee not only approved the scheme we have proposed for Teignmouth’s Back Beach but that the decision to proceed was unanimous. It’s a testament to the hard work put in by the project team to design a fitting solution.
“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.”
Gordon Trapmore, Devon and Cornwall Area Flood Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “After several years of discussions with the Town and District Councils and local residents, we are delighted our plans have been approved and that building work can now go ahead.”
The Mayor of Teignmouth, Councillor 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 commence in January 2012.