Work on vital flood preventions to protect 65 Feniton homes will start in September.

The date for the under track rail crossing which forms part of the Feniton Flood Alleviation Scheme has been set for the week beginning 19 September.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has so far delivered phase one and two of the project, and was due to deliver the under track rail crossing, known as phase three, before the pandemic struck and there were funding issues which caused delays.

EDDC and Network Rail will be making use of a week’s closure which was already set to take place on the Waterloo Line nearby. Pre-crossing works are likely to begin in early September, and post construction works will continue until the end of the month.

Phase three will involve creating a small compound to the east of Green Lane, to enable the construction of manhole chambers either side of the railway. Once the railway line is closed to rail traffic, the contractor will remove a section of rails, and trackbed, and excavate a trench to install the new culverted pipeline.

This will then be backfilled before the track bed is re-laid and rails are reinstalled. This will involve 24-hour working, near to the village, during the week of 19 September, so EDDC would like to thank residents in advance for their understanding whilst the works are carried out.

Feniton’s Flood Alleviation Scheme is designed to take flood water from the north of the village, via a culverted pipeline around the village and back into the stream south of Feniton.

Downstream channel improvements to properties south of Feniton and in Gosford have already been delivered as part of phase one and two, however their performance will be further investigated as part of the ongoing works. 

Once the under track rail crossing, or phase three, is complete, it will allow phase four to begin – this consists of a 900-metre long, 1.05-metre diameter culverted pipeline – running from Station Road, via phase three’s works to Ottery Road. Depending on contractor availability, EDDC aims to start construction of phase four in spring 2023.

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC's portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said: 

At long last the saga of this long-awaited scheme to alleviate the surface water flooding at Feniton seems to be nearly over. I am sure the long-suffering residents who will shortly be able to sleep a little more soundly when there is a storm, and no need to clamber out of bed to act as volunteer flood wardens.

Cllr Jayne Blackmore, of Feniton Parish Council, said:

After more than a decade of frustrations, Feniton Parish Council has received the fantastic news that Network Rail has now signed an agreement to proceed with the implementation of phase three of Feniton’s Flood Alleviation Scheme. This will be an enormous relief for those Feniton residents who have suffered the misery of frequent flooding, as well as the volunteer flood wardens who turn out all hours to help the community.

This has been a tremendous effort by all parties. Particular thanks are due to EDDC’s engineering project manager, Tom Buxton- Smith, and to former district councillor Susie Bond for all their hard work over the years.

EDDC's Feniton ward councillor Alasdair Bruce added:

This is fantastic news for Feniton. After having to put up with the constant threat of flooding for years, an end at last may be in sight. I believe these works will go a long way to securing a dryer, safer and less stressful future for Feniton. I would like to extend my thanks to the officers at EDDC, our county councillor, my predecessor former district Councillor Susie Bond and Feniton Parish Council. Collectively they have managed to work with Network Rail and other agencies, and kept faith that these vital works would eventually happen.