Following six months of engagement and consultation the Paignton and Preston Seafront Masterplan was approved at last night’s Torbay Council’s Cabinet meeting.
The Masterplan includes the sea defences that are needed on both Paignton and Preston seafronts to protect these areas from rising sea levels over the next 50 years. It has been estimated that over this time the total number of properties at risk of flooding is over 350. By providing defences now this risk can be drastically reduced.
The Masterplan for the seafronts in Paignton and Preston has been developed to protect and improve the precious open spaces along the seafront. The Masterplan also looks at creating a happy, healthy and vibrant place that celebrates the special qualities of the seafront areas.
The plan has been divided into phases and these will be delivered over a number of years, as and when funding is available. The first projects to be delivered will be the sea defence elements and £4.6milion has been secured from the Environment Agency, Section 106 contributions and the Future High Streets Fund for this part.
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “When we first went out to consultation on the original idea for sea defences in December 2020, feedback was that the proposals were simply not good enough and our residents wanted to be more involved in how the seafronts would look, making sure the whole area would work and benefit everyone. We listened, paused the original scheme and returned earlier this year to carry out a better and more collaborative public engagement, with extensive consultation. The brief was extended to include an improved public realm, which would incorporate the essential sea defence elements.
“What we have now is a Masterplan that not only protects the town but is community-led, with overwhelming public support. It has a number of projects in it that we are ready to deliver when the funds are available. As a whole plan it will deliver long term transformational change to two of our popular seafronts in the Bay.”
Further design work will now be commissioned so that a full planning application for the sea defence part of the Masterplan can be submitted later this year. The council will proactively look and apply for funding so that other parts of the Masterplan, especially the public realm improvements, can be delivered.
The approved Masterplan can be viewed on Torbay Council’s website.
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