Press release

Planning permission submitted for Totnes flood defence scheme

Plans for a scheme to reduce flood risk to over 400 homes and businesses in Totnes have been submitted to South Hams District Council.

Proposals put forward by the Environment Agency involve improving the existing flood defences along the River Dart from the mainline railway bridge to the Steam Packet Inn. Other measures include providing a new flood wall within Morrisons car park, raising Ashford slipway, the provision of flood resilience measures to individual properties and flood gates.

The Steam Packet, Totnes, winter 2008
The Steam Packet, Totnes, winter 2008

Tom Buxton-Smith, an engineer at the Environment Agency, said:

Since the construction of the original defences we know flood risk has changed and in recent years there have been at least two occasions where some of the properties in the town have come close to flooding. The proposed work will reduce flood risk to hundreds of properties.

By using the existing flood defences we hope to be able to carry out improvements in a cost effective way which minimises disruption in the town during construction.

Designs for the scheme were drawn up following discussions with landowners and property owners and a public drop-in session in the town in April.

Tom added:

The excellent local knowledge of residents really helped shape our designs.

Residents were supportive of our designs and were keen the finished defences would be sympathetic to the unique town of Totnes.

Residents still have the chance to comment on the application and we would encourage those who are supportive of the scheme to share their views with the council - as well as any comments on the design itself.

The designs, together with the full planning application, are available on South Hams District Council’s website. You can search for application number 3282/16/FUL.

Details of how to respond to the application can also be found on the council’s website. The consultation process lasts until the 30 November 2016.

The planning application is due to be discussed by the council’s Development Management Committee on 18 January 2017.

The estimated cost of the works is £3.8million. If the application is approved, work will start early in 2017.

Note to editors

The project to improve the flood defences in Totnes is separate from the planned work at Steamer Quay to repair the existing flood wall. It is hoped that this work will be completed later in the year.