• EDDC pledges half a million for Feniton’s flood defence scheme

    16th January 2013 | News | Claire
  • The total cost of the scheme is £1.6m, with the remainder of the funding to be sought from Devon County Council, the Environment Agency and DEFRA.

    The news that EDDC is proposing to fund the scheme, came as part of an overview and scrutiny meeting this morning, where councillors agreed what recommendations they would make to EDDC’s cabinet on what they felt appropriate to fund, or not fund, in the next financial year.

    Devon County Council and EDDC have been working closely on the Feniton scheme and have set out a timetable of 12-18 months to realise the project.

    Much hinges on a vital meeting on Tuesday 29 January, of the DEFRA project appraisal board, where board members will decide whether a further £500,000 will be agreed, to go towards the scheme.  Officers and councillors are hoping that if the DEFRA element of the funding is agreed, the money for the remainder of the scheme will follow.

    I attended a Feniton Parish Council meeting on Monday evening (14 January) where Cllr Graham Brown, ward member for Feniton, was sceptical about the flood scheme ever being realised.  He said he was in favour of development funding the flood scheme and warned residents that this would be the likely scenario.

    There were many upset residents at the meeting, who had either been flooded yet again on Saturday (12 January) or had narrowly missed being flooded.

    I argued that from the conversations and paperwork I had seen, that every effort was going into achieving the scheme and I was hopeful that it would be agreed.

    Feniton is under huge pressure from developers, with applications for around 150 houses currently under consideration by EDDC.  An appeal was granted in September for 50 houses.  Even more applications may be submitted for the village.

    EDDC’s commitment is at least a light at the end of dark tunnel for Feniton residents, who have been battered and are exhausted from fighting both regular foods and major planning applications, that they are worried will make the flooding situation worse.

    All eyes are now on the DEFRA project appraisal board on Tuesday 29 January – EDDC’s funding commitment is dependent on match-funding from the other organisations.

    Feniton residents are urged to send messages about their own experiences with flooding, to Environment Agency partnership and strategic overview team leader, George Arnison.  His email address is: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    It would be helpful to copy messages to EDDC engineer, Keith Steel, who has put a tremendous amount of work into the project and will be submitting the bid.  His address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Mr Arnison is a key decision-maker on whether the £500,000 will be approved on 29 January.

    EDDC’s cabinet meets to agree the budget on Wednesday 30 January, at 5.30pm.  It is expected that councillors will support the recommendations to part-fund the Feniton flood defence work.