The Environment Agency has moved to reassure people Braunton is not at risk of flooding following the breaching of the Horsey Island bank during high tides.

The outer bank at Horsey Island on Braunton Marsh. Picture: Brad BunyardThe outer bank at Horsey Island on Braunton Marsh. Picture: Brad Bunyard

There has been concern after successive high tides on Sunday and Monday (September 29-30) overtopped the inner Great Bank at Braunton Marsh and flooded on to the toll road.

The reclaimed land was under threat when the outer bank of the Horsey Island defences on the estuary side was overwhelmed in late 2017 and again in January 2018.

The inner bank divides the salt marsh from the freshwater meadowland.

The EA told the Gazette: "The village of Braunton is not at risk of flooding as a result of the breach, nor would it be at risk if the Great Bank were to fail or overtop.

The outer bank at Horsey Island on Braunton Marsh. Picture: Brad BunyardThe outer bank at Horsey Island on Braunton Marsh. Picture: Brad Bunyard

"The inner, 'Great Bank', including the Great Sluice and toll road, is owned, operated and maintained by the Braunton Marsh Inspectors.

"The Great Bank is in good condition and protects Braunton Marsh against inundation from the sea up to Highest Astronomical Tide level."

The EA said houses at Velator were protected by various flood measures, as was the White House at the end of the toll road.

It said the Toll House was under no threat as the bank was overtopped for only a limited period of time.

The EA and other agencies stood vigil on Monday evening as water surged over the bank, but as yet there is no indication of any permanent damage, although local people are asking how long the bank might be able to last.

Following the previous flooding, the Braunton Marsh Drainage Board, EA and other agencies got together to arrange for work to be carried out to repair the outer bank and the Great Sluice.

READ MORE: Call for action over Braunton flood breach .

Braunton parish councillor Brad Bunyard, who has been calling for action since 2016, said of the latest flooding: "It's been a big spring tide combined with low pressure, so it's fairly unique circumstances, but it's depressing that we have got to this stage and the fact that remedial action is only being taken at the last minute.

"I think they have got it in hand, but it's disconcerting for residents to see it, especially in the frame of climate change.

"They have placed material to reduce the impact of people walking on it and the sluice has been replaced, which is fantastic. There's lots of good things being done but the question is whether it's being done enough, considering the waves from the water hitting the bank and the ever increasing sea level rise."

READ MORE: 'Solution in sight' for Braunton Marsh flooding?