Feniton flood scheme falls foul of Covid-19

It will come as no surprise, but still the news will be hard to hear.

Very sadly, Feniton flood scheme will not be going ahead at the beginning of May. See press release below from East Devon District Council which explains the background to the decision:

Feniton undertrack rail crossing temporarily on hold due to Coronavirus health risk

East Devon District Council has made the tough but correct decision to postpone the Feniton undertrack rail crossing (Phase 3), which was due to be completed in early May 2020.

Given the current and forecast Corona Virus situation, the council has taken the proactive step to postpone non-essential construction work to reduce health risks to workers, local healthcare staff, and local residents.

East Devon appreciates all the hard work that the Network Rail team has put in to reach the current stage of the project, and looks forward to working with them to make sure everything is in place for the next possession window.

Although clearly a delay for phase 3, the fourth and final phase was not due to begin until March 2021, so the overall delay to the scheme completion is minimal.

The council’s project team will be working hard to ensure that both phase 3 and 4 can be delivered as soon as practically possible

Commenting on the delay, Cllr Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said:

“I totally understand that we have to make this decision to delay phase 3 of the Feniton scheme, during the Covid 19 Emergency.

“I would stress that this is a temporary delay and that we are totally committed to completing the Feniton Flood scheme as well all the other flood and sea defence schemes that we have currently in hand.

Cllr Ben Ingham, the Leader of East Devon District Council, said:

“It is a tremendous shame that we have to postpone this vital project for Feniton, especially in light of the hard work to get us this far. However, we cannot take high risks so there must be a delay. But we will be back.”

Cllr Peter Faithfull, Deputy Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said:

“While it is extremely frustrating to have to make the decision to delay this work, the risk of flooding has to be placed second to the risk of Covid-19 for both the workers and the residents.”

Feniton ward member, Cllr Susie Bond, said:

“This is hugely disappointing, but not unexpected, news given the national emergency in which we find ourselves. We shall look forward to hearing more positive news once the crisis is over and we can work with Network Rail in finding a new possession window.”

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