Village prepares to bolster its flood defences

Bishops Tawton parish councillor Chris Verney is among those calling for an upgrade to the pumping s

Bishops Tawton parish councillor Chris Verney is among those calling for an upgrade to the pumping station to help prevent future flooding in the village. - Credit: Archant

Parish council prepares draft report to safeguard low-lying homes.

The Venn Stream has burst its banks three times in the last 12 years.

The Venn Stream has burst its banks three times in the last 12 years. - Credit: Archant

BISHOPS Tawton Parish Council is set to publish its own plan to help bolster flood protection in the village.

The council is drawing up its own draft report in response to three floods in the last 12 years that have overwhelmed low-lying homes by the River Taw and Venn Stream.

Most recently, around 15 homes suffered flooding before Christmas, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, prompting an emergency meeting with villagers and representatives from the Environment Agency, South West Water, Devon County Council and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

Village butcher D I Elliott is still to reopen following the deluge.


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Chairman John Taylor has been examining the problems in depth and has drawn up a number of possible solutions to present to the council at a meeting being held in the parish hall at 7.30pm tomorrow (Thursday). Members of the public are welcome to attend.

An upgrade of the sewage pumping station opposite Sandy Lane; the removal of reinforced banks at Tawstock; and the dredging the Venn are among 17 proposals identified by Mr Taylor.

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He said: “One of the main problems is the pumping station but we are preparing a plan to show where all the problems lie.”

Fellow parish councillor Chris Verney said surface water entered the pumping station via a 12 inch pipe and exited via a six-inch pipe upgrade, and was due an upgrade.

“We don’t think the pumps have ever been increased in size since they were installed in 1969,” he said.

“Surface water goes into the sewage system opposite Sandy Lane and overloads it – it can only cope with around 210 gallons per minute.”

Cllr Verney also said that up-stream developments were also contributing to the amount of water in the Venn. He said the dredging of the Taw estuary would also help alleviate excess water in the tributaries such as the Venn.

“They used to dredge the Taw as far as Crow Point until about 20 years ago.

“Barges used to take out about 800 tonnes a day and that allowed more water to flow in both estuaries.”

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