‘Flood defence works’ look set to be carried out by the Environment Agency at Cheyne through August and into September.

CHEYNE Beach car park in Ilfracombe could be closed for the rest of the summer, it has emerged.

North Devon Council says the car park could close on Friday, August 1 after the Environment Agency issued notification of its plans to carry out flood defence work.

The council says it has requested a delay or phased working to minimise the impact on permit holders, businesses and tourists, but to date this has been unsuccessful.

“The Environment Agency has only just told us of their plans, which will see the reserved car park closed throughout the summer holidays and beyond,” said executive member for car parks, Councillor Malcolm Prowse.

“Obviously, this will be a blow to the users of the car park and in particular, the local businesses along the quay. I can only apologise for any disruption this may cause, but stress it is beyond our control.”

The council has not been told how long the car park is likely to be closed, but says the Environment Agency has indicated that it will ‘use best endeavours to complete this work prior to the fair’ coming to Ilfracombe in the middle of September.

The council will be contacting permit holders about alternative parking and said it would continue to press for a start date in mid September.

The North Devon Gazette has asked the Environment Agency to comment.