Cranbrook new town 'not increasing flooding risks'

Flooded land near Cranbrook When completed, Cranbrook will include about 3,000 new homes

Related Stories

Claims that new developments in east Devon could increase flooding risks in the area have been denied by a district council and the Environment Agency.

When completed, the new town of Cranbrook, near Exeter, will include about 3,000 new homes, plus a science park and a business estate.

Critics said the work was contributing to an increasing regularity of floods.

East Devon District Council and the agency said flooding issues had been taken into account.

'Beyond doubt'

Heavy rain caused flooding in the Exeter and Tiverton areas on Monday, affecting several properties.

Start Quote

I can fully understand when people ... conclude that this is somehow making it worse, but this is not the case”

End Quote George Arnison Environment Agency

Phil Walters, whose family has farmed at Wishford Farm in Broadclyst for 70 years, said the Cranbrook building work had resulted in rivers becoming filled with rainwater more quickly.

He said: "It is beyond doubt, in my mind, that the speed in which the water is coming off these developments and entering the river system is contributing significantly to the flooding levels that we are seeing."

Some local parish councillors also have concerns.

Henry Massey, from Broadclyst Parish Council, said: "The floods we had in 2008, which were very similar, were described as a one-in-1,000-year event.

"And here we are again, four years later, with another one-in-1,000-year event."

East Devon Council said Cranbrook was granted planning permission "only after extensive consultation with the Environment Agency".

It said: "The drainage strategy for these developments is based on the Environment Agency's recommendations and the drainage infrastructure is being provided.

"It must be remembered that an exceptional volume of rain fell on Sunday and Monday, and this would have caused higher than average volumes of water in waterways whether or not development were taking place."

George Arnison, from the Environment Agency, added: "I can fully understand when people see all the construction work that they conclude that this is somehow making it worse, but this is not the case."

The agency also said it was to meet critics to address concerns.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of rain for south-west England for Tuesday and Wednesday.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon



Min. Night 17 °C


  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Why are more children in Africa living beyond five?

  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?

  • Rio Ferdinand and David Moyes'Playing to win'

    Memorable quotes from sporting autobiographies BBC Sport

  • Hand washing to contain Ebola in LiberiaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts

  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.