News story

Exeter flood defence scheme construction at Quay takes summer break

To avoid disruption to visitors and businesses, work will resume on the Quay from October 2017.

Artist's drawing of a brick wall on top of a small embankment by the edge of water
Artist's impression of how the flood defence wall will look near the Royal Oak

Vital work to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 3,200 homes and businesses in Exeter reaches another key milestone this weekend as work around the Quay area of the city is halted to avoid disruption to visitors and businesses over the summer. Work will resume in October.

Over the past 5 months contractors working on behalf of the Environment Agency have been building a flood defence system that will be put in place when flooding is expected and then taken down when river levels recede. The defence follows the line of the existing bollards.

A temporary tarmac surface is to be laid to some of the Quay area for the summer as further works in these areas will be necessary. The reinstatement of permanent surfaces will be made at the end of the works in 2018. At Piazza Terracina works are now nearing completion with permanent paving being laid. Over the weekend BMM JV are putting the finishing touches to defences in this area.

Richard Cox, project manager for the Environment Agency, said:

We are making substantial progress and would like to thank all businesses, residents and visitors for their patience and co-operation.

We appreciate this work has caused disruption to the Quay and other areas of the city. Once complete this £32 million scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to thousands of homes and businesses in the city.

During winter 2017/18, BMM JV will be back at the Quay to complete flood defences around Quay Bridge and the Samuel Jones pub area. Some disruption will be experienced during this time but the Quay will remain open throughout works.

Work is due to start at Eagle Cottages and Haven Road after Easter.

BMM JV is still on site at Bonhay Road where works are due to finish later in the summer. This is later than anticipated due to very poor ground conditions. The appearance of the new 400m flood defence wall being built from Flowerpots to Exe Bridges has caused concern among some members of the public. The Environment Agency wishes to reassure the public that the flood defence, once complete this summer, will be clad in brickwork and have the grassed banks reinstated on both sides.

The flood defence construction works are programmed to finish in 2018.

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Notes to editors

Phase 2 of Exeter’s £32 million scheme started in July 2016.

Phase 1 of the scheme got underway in 2014 and saw construction work just downstream of Exeter Quay. The Trew’s flood relief channel and the side spill weir at the top of the channel have been lowered. This increased the flow capacity of the flood relief channel, which will help reduce flood risk during high river flows.

Exeter City Council and Devon County Council each contributed £3 million to the scheme. The remainder is funding from Central Government.

Published 31 March 2017