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Paignton seafront transformation set for green light

Plans for Paignton seafront (Image courtesy: Torbay Council)

It will be the biggest building job in the town for decades

A multi-million-pound transformation of Paignton seafront is likely to get the go-ahead next week.

A green light from Torbay Council's planning committee will mean work can start on the long-awaited project which will protect the seafront from rising sea levels.

In the biggest building job seen in the town for decades, traffic flows and public areas along the busy promenade will be completely revamped.

The project also takes in Preston seafront, which will get its share of the works.

The council carried out a lengthy consultation last year to try to get the scheme right, after having had to go back to the drawing board when local people rejected an earlier sea defence proposal dubbed the ‘Berlin Wall’.

Previous objectors are now backing the scheme, although they have some reservations about whether the wall will be high enough to keep the water at bay.

Paignton Green and low-lying parts of the town have been prone to flooding from storms, and current projections say the problem will get much worse as climate change causes sea levels to rise.

A video presentation to be shown to members of the committee on Monday night shows how flooding could devastate large parts of the town centre if defences are not improved.

Funding of £4.6 million has been secured from the Environment Agency, with compulsory contributions from local developers and the government's Future High Streets Fund also contributing.

If the scheme is approved, which council officers are recommending, Paignton will get a 790-metre-long concrete flood defence structure with steel gates. A new upper promenade will have seating terraces and greenery.

Shelters will be relocated as will kiosks and cafes. Vehicles will be able to access the seafront through a new entrance on the south green.

Preston will have 373 metres of defences with gates and a resurfaced prom. Shelters and kiosks will be protected and there will be new seating.

Preston also gets a storage facility for paddleboards to cope with the rapid rise in Torbay’s profile as a national centre for the sport.

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