Devon County Council Property Level Resilience (PLR) Grant Scheme

The text below is taken from Devon County Council’s website (https://new.devon.gov.uk/floodriskmanagement/flood-resilience/) and might be useful to help fund individual household protection from flooding.

Devon County Council is committed to increasing community resilience in Devon and is supported by DEFRA to deliver property level resilience measures. Working closely with a number of partners, DCC aims to help individual property owners be better equipped with the tools and basic defence measures they need to be able to deal with flooding. As such a new PLR Grant Scheme has been established to enable home owners to apply for up to £5,000 to carry out a survey of the property, identifying the required resilience measures, and to purchase the recommended measures. Any additional budget requirements will be at the expense of the property owner.

There is limited funding, with an allocation to be made available each year by DEFRA, Local Levy and DCC. Applications will therefore be prioritised based on fixed criteria set out in the PLR Grant Policy Document in order to maximize the number of properties benefitting from this opportunity and to ensure those properties with the greatest need will receive the funding.

If you believe you are eligible to apply for the grant, as detailed in the Policy, you must first complete an Application form (also available in PDF format) and either email to floodrisk@devon.gov.uk or post to Flood & Coastal Risk Management, Lucombe House, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QD in order for your application to be considered.

Important things to note:

  1. It is the responsibility of individual property owners to protect their homes from flooding and that this grant scheme aims to assist property owners in doing so.

  2. Funding will be allocated subject to the number and priority of applications received and there can be no guarantee of funding being provided, even though the required criteria may have been met.

  3. All grant payments will be made to the survey consultant and product supplier for the specific individual property. No funding will be paid direct to the property owner or their representative/agent.

  4. This is a new initiative being made available by Devon County Council and may be subject to minor amendments as the scheme matures.

  5. The decision of Devon County Council’s prioritisation is final once allocations are approved and confirmed.

If you want to apply for a grant and come across any difficulties , let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help (sbond@eastdevon.gov.uk).Station road with Cate, Nigel, Martyn and Bob

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Update on Feniton flood scheme, EDDC press release

Phase 3 progress update for council’s Feniton flood alleviation project

East Devon continues to work hard to maintain momentum on flood prevention scheme for the benefit of over 70 Feniton homes

Network Rail has given approval for Phase 3 of East Devon District Council’s flood alleviation scheme in Feniton, which consists of laying a one metre diameter culvert beneath the railway line. This is the first part of the services it is providing to East Devon, which will help complete the project. A suitable 52 hour window in October 2019 within which the new culvert can be placed under the railway has now been identified by Network Rail. This fits in with other works planned by the railway around that time.

The reason behind this timing is that there is only a limited period when the temperature of the railway tracks allows the undertrack crossing to be accessed and work to be safely carried out. During warmer weather, the thermal stress in the railway tracks is too high for the ballast below it to be disturbed. This is further complicated by the presence of reptiles to one side of the railway crossing, which can only be relocated during warmer weather.

Network Rail has put together the necessary proposals and programme to complete the detailed design for full technical sign off for Phase 3. However, due to the nature of the in-depth analysis of the temporary and permanent works required, and the reviews required of these, it is anticipated that this will be unable to be completed before Easter 2019 after which the ballast cannot be disturbed.

East Devon is reviewing Network Rail’s proposal at present, and is actively considering how best the last and final phase of the council’s own works can be programmed to fit in with Network Rail’s timings. This includes consideration of whether other sections of the culvert can commence prior to the Phase 3 section. The council, together with Network Rail, is keen that the flood alleviation scheme can be completed as soon as is practical in order to protect over 70 homes in the village from flooding.

Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon’s portfolio holder for the environment, said:

“East Devon District Council is totally committed to alleviating the flood risk to Feniton and supports Cllr Susie Bond in her drive to get the problem resolved.  We are determined to get this flooding issue resolved, while maintaining the integrity of this vital railway link.”

Cllr Susie Bond, East Devon’s ward member for Feniton and Buckerell, said:

“On behalf of the residents of Feniton, I have to thank the engineers at East Devon District Council for their tenacity in relation to this complex project, which is in equal measure to the resilience of the residents of Feniton! I’m particularly pleased that as a council, we are going to look at moving forward with Phase 4, which is the final stage of the project, while Network Rail completes Phase 3.”

* * * * Press release ends * * * *

Play area flooding, new year 2016

A particular concern for the Parish Council is to press ahead with the long-awaited refurbishment of the QEII play area through which the scheme will run. Much of the funding for this is in place, including a commuted sum from Wainhomes (following their refusal to provide a play area on their Winchester Park site) and a BigLottery grant of £10,000. These monies have to be spent within a limited time-frame.

Meanwhile, the Parish Council has arranged a meeting with Network Rail and engineers from East Devon District Council. The focus of the meeting will be to see how and when the works on phase 4 (the phase which completes the scheme) can commence.

 

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Patience is growing thin … the continuing saga of Feniton flood alleviation scheme

The first documented evidence I’ve seen of flooding in Feniton is from Parish Council minutes of 1912. Since that time, the village has been beset with flooding issues and the ever-present threat of flooding, which leaves residents anxious and fearful when heavy rain is forecast.

20161121_123228This month marks the 10th anniversary of the devastating floods of 2008 which saw a number of households evacuated and resulted in the loss of all their possessions. As well as enormous distress at the time, and a legacy of uncertainty that causes villagers to be fearful each time it rains heavily, there was of course substantial costly damage to the village too.

The church was flooded to a considerable depth and was unable to be used while the building dried out and renovation works undertaken. The costs of refurbishing the fabric of the church alone ran to some £200,000.

The news that East Devon District Council had started working on the Feniton flood alleviation scheme was met with immense relief. Work started in 2013 and the scheme was given planning permission in 2015.

It is an immensely complex project as it involves a number of landowners, not least Network Rail.

And there’s the rub …

IMG_0164I had been hopeful that phase 3 of the scheme, that is the under-track crossing of the railway line, would happen this autumn and all the signs were that this was the case.

Work has been going on apace with EDDC’s Engineering and Legal Departments. Network Rail have signed the ‘Agreement in Principle’ which means that they are contracted to undertake the works for this section of the scheme. They are currently designing the under-track crossing and looking at dates for when they can close the line in order to carry out the works.

So far, so good …

However, the problem apparently is that works cannot be undertaken on the railway line during the summer (April to September), and I’m given to understand that there is insufficient time before April 2019 to complete the design and have it agreed by all parties.

It now looks as though the earliest these works can be undertaken is autumn 2019!

This means that we have at least another year of staring at the sky in fear of rainstorms … another year of calling out the flood wardens when the rain intensity alarm sounds … another year of desperately wishing we didn’t live in a flood-prone village with all the misery that that entails.

I have written to our MP, Neil Parish, as I understand that the incredibly slow speed at which Network Rail works is having an impact on flood alleviation schemes up and down the country.

Chairman of the Parish Council, Martyn Smith, has also written to Neil Parish and we are both asking him to bring his influence to bear on Network Rail to try and move the schedule forward so that we can offer the long-suffering people of Feniton a little respite – and indeed, a little hope – from the anxieties they currently face.

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