The County Council have approved the plans, at a cost of more than £750,000
Devon County Council’s cabinet on Wednesday morning backed the Sidmouth Surface Water Improvement Scheme which will reduce the risk of surface water flooding to over 100 homes and businesses in the town.
The scheme involves the construction of a new and larger drainage system in the town centre that will divert surface water directly into the River Sid and the construction of an earth dam which will act as a surface water storage area at The Knowle.
Subject to funding and planning permission work could begin in January.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for Highways, and also the Sidmouth ward councillor, said: “This scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to around 100 of the most vulnerable properties.
“We know from experience that parts of Sidmouth are particularly vulnerable flooding and the impact flooding can have on homes and businesses, and I have delivered sandbags in person to some of these properties that are at risk of flooding.”
Cllr Alistair Dewhirst said that the consequences of flooding are truly horrendous. He said: “I hope we can get this project going as soon as possible and take the consequences of flooding out of the minds of the residents,” while Cllr Rob Hannaford added: “The quicker this is done, the better.”
Sidmouth has a high risk of flooding and in November 2014, 18 properties in the town were flooded from surface runoff during a minor incident, and a report to the cabinet from Dave Black, head of planning, transportation and environment, said: “The proactive investigations and extensive modelling of the surface water flood risk in Sidmouth has identified the potential vulnerability and extent of risk to the affected properties. This has highlighted the urgent need for the proposed surface water flood alleviation works.”
Work in the town centre could begin in January 2019, but the work at the Knowle would start after the summer holiday period in 2019 to minimise disruption in Sidmouth.