Route of Feniton flood alleviation scheme

For those who have asked, here is an indicative map of the flood alleviation scheme.

Route of the flood scheme


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Disappointing news for Feniton

East Devon District Council has issued the following press release after news broke that Network Rail could not go ahead with the October 2019 date for phase 3 of the Feniton flood alleviation scheme.

Network Rail has confirmed that work on Phase 3 of the flood alleviation scheme for Feniton, due to be carried out next month (October) cannot take place.

East Devon District Council has just been advised by Network Rail that Phase 3 of the Feniton Flood Alleviation Scheme cannot be undertaken as planned next month (October 2019).

Phase 3 involves a 52 hour weekend track closure to facilitate major excavation works to create a new culvert and the installation of a 1m drainage pipe beneath the rail track. The drainage pipe will connect up to the already completed phases 1 and 2 to take away any flood water from people and properties.

Because of unacceptable financial compensation risks to the council should these works overrun, Network Rail is managing phase 3 and has tendered the work on East Devon’s behalf. Having reviewed the delivery programmes submitted by the suppliers, Network Rail feels there would be an unacceptable risk to the hand back of the operational railway, which is subject to a strict time scale.

Network Rail has advised the council that post tender negotiations with the suppliers are required, which means that the October track closure window will now be missed. This is so that they can secure the necessary assurances and clarification on construction methodologies, road closures and viable track management.

Network Rail understandably needs to be satisfied that the chosen contractor can undertake the work to a standard that ensures the train timetable is not interrupted after the track closure. The consequences of work overrunning is hugely costly and both Network Rail and East Devon need to mitigate the risk of being fined if works overrun.

East Devon is now prioritising finding a new future track closure date for the works and will consider how phase 4 of the scheme can be progressed, so that the entire project can be commissioned when the excavation work is complete.

The design work for Phase 4 was due to be undertaken this winter, with the actual construction of Phase 4 of the flood alleviation scheme taking place in spring 2020 when the weather is warmer (which means the work can be done more quickly with less disruption to local residents). Construction of the channels to intercept flood water upstream of the village, and construction of the remainder of the culvert to link the sections (phases 1 and 2) have already been completed.

Cllr Susie Bond, Feniton ward member, said:

“It was immensely disappointing that Network Rail has been unable to reach agreement with its own contractors after a whole year of delay on this phase of the flood scheme. I urge NR to resolve matters as soon as possible so that phase 3 can be undertaken before April 2020 at the absolute latest.”

IMG_0164Work on the flood scheme started in 2012 and the most protracted and complicated part of the process has been negotiations with Network Rail.

The patience of the people of Feniton and of the Parish Council, in particular, has been extraordinary. When I reported the news to the Parish Council at their monthly meeting on Monday, they agreed that at a meeting with EDDC at the end of September they would press for a meeting with Network Rail and enlist the help of MP Neil Parish.

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Second defibrillator for Feniton

But have you done the training?

We are truly fortunate in Feniton to be the proud owners of two defibrillators.

Of course, we sincerely hope that we will never need to use them, but they are there ready to be used in the event of a life-threatening emergency.


Sarah Dormor, the volunteer trainer from Heartswell teaching us what to do.

One, installed on the fence at Feniton Primary School, has been there for a couple of years, but there is now one in the old part of the village on the wall of the Village Hall annex. Both are strategically placed to be accessed quickly.

It is vital therefore that as many members of the community as possible are trained in basic CPR and use of the defibrillator.

There are roughly 1500 adults in Feniton and there are about 30 people who have been trained to use the defibrillators over a couple of sessions.

We need far more than that!

IMG_0429If a defibrillator is used within 3 to 5 minutes of a cardiac arrest, survival rates jump from 6% to 74%. It is vital therefore that people come forward to run through the basic drill of what you need to do.

There is nothing scary about it and you need no previous medical training to help save a life.

On Monday evening, about 15 of us undertook the training in the village school. It was fun and informative at the same time. The training was run by Sarah Dormor, senior resuscitation officer at Plymouth Derriford Hospital. Sarah also volunteers for Heartswell ( and goes out into communities, such as ours, and trains people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, which is the first thing you need to learn if you come across someone who has had a heart attack.

She warned us not to rely on what we see on Casualty or Holby City as that is very different to reality!!


Deborah putting the theory into practice!

So how about it?

If you’re interested in attending a course … let Alison, our parish clerk know by emailing her at, or speak to one of the parish councillors.

The commitment to the training is for 2 hours on a single evening … and that commitment might just be enough to save a life.

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