Tidal defence work to protect Teignmouth from flooding

Waves crashing over Teignmouth sea wall, March 2008: Pic John Burgess
Image caption A combination of high tides and waves puts Teignmouth at risk of tidal flooding

A £4m tidal defence scheme to protect a Devon seaside resort from flooding is due to begin.

The Environment Agency said it had been designed to protect Teignmouth's town centre and beach areas, including the working dockyard and fish quay.

When the work has been completed, it should minimise the flood risk to more than 600 properties.

There will be new flood defence walls, flood gates, ramps and steps for access to the quays and foreshore.

The agency said the new flood gates were an essential part of the new defences and would be operated by the Teignmouth Town Council.

'Peace of mind'

The scheme has been funded by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Flood Defence Grant in Aid, with contributions from Teignbridge District Council and Teignmouth Town Council.

James Morrish, South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee chairman, said: "These defences will drastically reduce the risk of flooding and give peace of mind to those living in the area."

The agency will be working with South West Water, to align the flood defence construction with the water firm's improvement works to storm storage tanks beneath Fish Quay.

It said using the same contractor on both projects would not only minimise disruption in Teignmouth, but would also reduce construction costs.

Environment Agency spokesman Andy Hohl said work would begin on 5 December to set up compounds and offices ahead of the main construction work which will begin early in January.

"This will hopefully allow us to complete the works before the school summer holidays in July 2012," he said.

The agency said efforts would be made to keep disruption in the town to a minimum.

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