�1.2 million flood defences unveiled

The new scheme will help reduce the risk of flooding in Braunton.

THE LONG-awaited �1.2 million flood defence works in Braunton were officially unveiled today (Thurs).

The new defence scheme will reduce the chance of flooding in Caen Street from 1 in 20 to 1 in 100.

Reverend Anne Thorne also blessed the memorial rose garden and Jubilee oak tree planted next to the river as more than 100 residents and councillors gathered to mark the occasion.

Plans were first drawn up by the Environment Agency to widen the narrow section of the River Caen after the village was devastated by flooding back in 2004.

Rosie Carr, Environment Agency Project Manager, said: “We have worked closely with local residents and our partners to deliver a scheme that will minimise the effects of flooding and reduce the damage it causes.

“Our flood schemes help prepare communities for future increases in flooding and a changing climate.

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“We have created a river walk upstream of the Memorial shelter in the gardens.

“This walkway can be flooded at times of high river flows, but will prevent water flooding across the gardens.

“The gardens have been landscaped, and a strip has been raised adjacent to Chalenors Road. At the bowling club we have widened the river adjacent to the car park.”

During the unveiling on Thursday afternoon, Caen primary school student Ella Crossland cut the ribbon, alongside James Morrish, chairman of the South West Flood and Coastal Erosion Committee.

The Environment Agency has also built a flood relief culvert around Hordens Bridge and flood walls have been built to create a low defence barrier upstream of the bridge.

The works were designed by Halcrow and carried out over the past six months by Team Van Oord.

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