Sea defence scheme paused for more community engagement to take place 

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(Last Updated On: May 15, 2021)

Following a recent consultation on the Paignton and Preston Sea defence scheme, Torbay Council will be pausing the planning application and will be seeking to re-engage with the community over the design and position of any future sea defence structure.

A coastal sea defence scheme is undoubtedly needed for these two areas of Torbay, as it has been predicted that due to climate change the sea level will continue to rise. Over the next 100 years the frequency and impact of water coming over the top of the current sea walls will increase, resulting in more infrastructure and properties being affected by flooding. This inevitable process and the increased risk of flooding has already started.

The council are now starting a revised and fresh approach to community engagement and want to co-design and collaborate on this scheme with all those this will have an impact on. To ensure they reach everyone the council want to hear from its residents about who wants to be part of this engagement and how they would like to take part. The council are keen to hear from a wide range of the community including businesses in the area, residents who live close by and the wider community of Paignton and those who use the area.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “We have listened to our local community and taken on board all of the feedback. Any future sea defence structure for Paignton and Preston will be there forever, or at least a very long time, so we must all endeavour to work together to get to the right solution. We want to work with you to co-design a scheme that benefits everyone.

“There will be technical aspects that will need to be followed as there is no point in building a defence scheme that won’t protect our towns, businesses and properties. But we do need to find a scheme that is understood and is supported by the local community who live nearby, as well as those with adjacent businesses and most importantly by those who are already exposed to the very real likelihood of flooding.

“If you want to be part of this engagement, please let us know. Also let us know of any community groups, organisations or businesses that would like to be involved too. We are particularly keen to hear the views of our young people, as they are the ones who will be growing up and living with this increased risk of flooding. We are also keen to hear on how you would like to be engaged with. Would you prefer face to face events, pandemic permitted, newsletters, social media or would you like us to visit your group? Any ideas are welcome.”

If you have any thoughts on how the council can engage with the community that uses this area, who may be affected by flooding in the main town centre and seafront area of Paignton and Preston, or by a sea defence scheme on these seafronts please email engagement@torbay.gov.uk by Sunday 30 May 2021.

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