Work is underway to replace a collapsed culvert which has caused a sinkhole at Moreton Park in Bideford.

An image showing the concrete culvert collapse that has caused the sinkhole at Moreton Park. Picture: DCC An image showing the concrete culvert collapse that has caused the sinkhole at Moreton Park. Picture: DCC

The culvert under several private gardens and the collapse has caused a sinkhole which poses a flood risk to nearby homes.

Due to the complex nature of the repair required, Devon County Council has stepped in to carry out the scheme on behalf of the land owners next to the watercourse.

The work, which will involve excavating and replacing more than 75 metres of damaged and collapsed concrete culvert, is expected to take up to 15 weeks to complete.

Although most of the work will take place off the highway network, a road closure will be necessary to join the new section of culvert to the existing culvert upstream. This closure is likely to take place next month.

Councillor Roger Croad, cabinet member responsible for flood prevention, said: “This scheme is part of the council’s flood risk management action plan to address the highest priority communities at risk of flooding.

“As this repair work isn’t straightforward, the county council has got involved to help the local community in order to reduce the risk of flooding and to prevent further and potentially dangerous deterioration of the culvert.”

Councillor Tony Inch, county councillor for Bideford West and Hartland, said: “A lot of planning has gone into this complex engineering scheme due to the work being undertaken very close to people’s homes.

“I would like to thank the officers involved in this and I am very happy, as are the residents, that work is now underway.”

The scheme is being funded through a combination of the Government’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid, county council funding, and a contribution from the insurers of the affected property.

The work will be carried out by contractor Bridge Civil Engineering Ltd.