Agenda item

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/18/44), on proposals for Surface Water Improvements in Sidmouth, attached.


(Councillors Dewhirst and Hannaford attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning Transportation and Environment (PTE/18/44) circulated prior to the meeting accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 on proposed surface water improvements in Sidmouth.


The Report highlighted that studies commissioned by the Council had shown a significant risk of surface water flooding in Sidmouth, therefore it focused on the history and calculated risk of future surface water flooding in the town.  The Surface Water Management Plan for Sidmouth established there was a high risk of flooding affecting a significant number of residential and commercial properties, emphasised in November 2014, when 18 properties in the town were flooded from surface runoff during a minor incident.


Detailed hydraulic modelling had been carried out as part of the preferred scheme design which identified over 100 properties would benefit from the proposed works.


The scheme proposals to reduce the ongoing risk of flooding would be undertaken in two discrete locations in the town, as shown in Annex 1 to the Report.


Phase 1 would be the provision of new and upsized drainage systems in the town centre, and new, direct discharges into the River Sid, as seen in Annex 2.  Subject to funding, the works were proposed to commence in January 2019.


Phase 2 would be the creation of surface water storage at The Knowle, as seen in Annex 3. Subject to funding and required planning consent, the works were proposed to take place immediately after the summer holiday period in 2019 to minimise disruption in Sidmouth.


Throughout the investigation and design process there had been a close working relationship between DCC’s Flood & Coastal Risk Management Team, Jacobs Civil Engineering, East Devon District Council, South West Water and relevant landowners.


A business case had been submitted to the Environment Agency to request funding support from Defra’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid and also via the Local Levy collected from the Lead Local Flood Authorities of Devon, Plymouth Torbay, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  Capital works would be funded and monitored through the Councils capital programme. Current estimates were for a further £719,000 to complete the works, in addition to the £39,945 previously spent.


All of the surface water flood improvements mentioned would be developed in accordance with the Equality and Environmental Assessments produced in support of the Devon Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.  All elements of the scheme had been assessed at the appropriate stage using the corporate, integrated assessment tool, with relevant equality and environmental impacts identified and acted on as necessary.


An environmental appraisal of the proposals indicated that, with appropriate mitigation, there would be limited impact upon landscape, historic and ecological interests. 


The Cabinet noted that the delivery of the surface water flood improvements would significantly increase the standard of protection and reduce the risk of flooding to over 100 residential properties in the town of Sidmouth.  The business case to be submitted to the Environment Agency justified the level of investment in the proposed scheme in accordance with national objectives.  It also had a high priority when considered against the criteria set out in the Devon Flood Risk Management Strategy.


The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability, carbon impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the Head of Service’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:


It was MOVED by Councillor Croad, SECONDED by Councillor Hughes, and




(a) that the Sidmouth Surface Water Improvement Scheme at an estimated cost of £759,000, planned to commence this financial year, dependent on securing all funding, be approved; and


(b) that the authority to apply for planning permission and acquire title and/or rights over the necessary land as required in order to deliver the scheme also be given.

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