Left to right: Martin Hutchings, DCC Flood and Coastal Risk Manager; Tom Dauben, EA Partnership and Strategic Overview Senior Advisor; Jessica Bott, DCC Senior Flood and Coastal Risk Officer; Cllr Susie Bond, EDDC member for Feniton and Andrew Hancock, EDDC Service Lead - Streetscene

Inspection of Phase Two of Feniton’s new flood prevention scheme

Phase Two of East Devon District Council’s £1.6 million flood alleviation scheme for Feniton, which has been jointly funded by EDDC, Environment Agency (EA) and Devon County Council (DCC), has now been successfully completed.

Representatives from the council, the EA and DCC paid a site visit recently to Feniton to inspect work completed as part of the second phase. This has involved Individual Property Protection (IPP) for three properties: The Oaks, Pines Cottage and Iron Gate Lodge. New flood gates, flood walls and stop logs are now in place at these homes.

Watercourse improvement works at The Oaks was completed in March 2016, with the remainder being undertaken in stages, with work finishing completely in June/July 2016.

Work on Phase One –which involved the construction of a length of new watercourse around Metcombe Cottage and Sweethams Cottage, together with a further length  to bypass Gosford Farm – was completed in January 2016.

The background to Feniton’s Flood Alleviation Scheme goes back to 1999 when an East Devon investigation revealed that Feniton was affected by flooding every two to three years. Then in 2008, 60 properties in Feniton suffered flooding as the existing watercourse was unable to cope with the quantity of water during storm conditions.

It was then that East Devon and its partner agencies the EA and DCC agreed to a scheme to collect flood water from above the village and divert it via a 1050mm diameter pipe down through the village to a new section of watercourse  at Metcombe Cottage, in order to supplement the capacity of the existing watercourse.

Phase Three of the scheme will involve the construction of a 1050mm diameter pipe beneath the Exeter to Waterloo railway line over two successive nights at the end of October. Preparatory work will begin for this phase at the beginning of October, with the works here forecast to be completed by mid November.

Following on from this Phase Four will consist of the installation of a 1050mm diameter pipe from the new watercourse constructed as part of Phase 2 behind Metcombe Cottage, across Ottery Road, through the fields to connect to Phase 3  The pipe will continue from the railway across Green Lane, up through Wells Avenue and Warwick Close, north through the Parish Council play area and the Youth Centre, through Wainhomes land in Station Road and into the fields above. Work is due to commence on site in the Autumn 2016, and a plan of the route can be found on the EDDC website.

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said:

This is an excellent example of multi agency working and I am very pleased that we are able to work with our partners to start delivering this complex scheme.

It hasn’t been easy negotiating with all the different stakeholders, but it is very exciting to start seeing the scheme being built - the outcome of all our planning. I am aware that many of the residents in Feniton are on high alert every time there is heavy rainfall and I feel sure the completion of this scheme will allow them to rest more easily in their homes.

Councillor Susie Bond, East Devon District Council’s ward member for Feniton and Buckerell, added:

Completion of Phase 2 of the flood alleviation scheme is a watershed moment for the many people in Feniton who have lived under the threat of flooding for so many years. The project has been an extremely complex one, given the number of landowners involved, as well as the future culvert under the railway line. I think I can speak for the whole village in expressing thanks to the members of the multi-agency working group who have worked tirelessly to see this project come to fruition.

Commenting on the work at Feniton, Councillor Stuart Hughes,  Devon County Council's Cabinet member for Highways Management and Flood Prevention, said:

A lot of effort has gone into the development of the Feniton Flood Improvements and I am encouraged by the progress being made. This is a really good example of partnership working between East Devon District Council, who are leading the scheme, Devon County Council, the Environment Agency and Network Rail. A number of challenges have had to be overcome on the way and I am pleased to see that the first two phases are complete and that a number of properties are already benefitting from improved defences. With the final two phases due to start shortly this will give the residents of Feniton that much awaited assurance of improvement measures being delivered to protect their properties.

Further information about the Feniton flood alleviation scheme can be found on the flooding pages of the East Devon website.