Monthly Archives: February 2013

Braunton Floods – Public Open Day on Saturday 2 March

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Saunton panorama

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Sorce Web Design

If you need help with web design then I’d strongly recommend talking to Matt Saunders of Sorce Web Design. It was established in 200o and specialises in web design, logo design, content management systems and search engine optimisation. It also offers web hosting services, domain name purchases and can generally consult on any aspect of web design, development and marketing.

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Flood update from Ben Byrom

The following is a letter to local traders from Ben Byrom of West Cross Garage dated 16 February 2013 providing an update on the flooding situation.

Dear Trader,

Since my last note to you I have given my What happened? Why it happened? And What are we doing about it power point to both a Rotary club lunch and was invited to show it to the whole Parish Council. As there has been a number of requests from the public to see it the Council have given me the use of the Parish hall on the 2nd of march (a Saturday) to start at 6pm with a 2nd show at about 8pm if the demand is too great for the first one as we can only seat about 100. I have asked the Rotary club to man the doors for me. IT IS FREE OF CHARGE.

The show will consist of a talk through of what happened on the day, and were it happened with my WWW power point of pictures and then after a film show of other pictures of the day. I have a large number of pictures from Pete Stapleton, Matt Fryer and Andrew Byrom.

We have had great support from Nick Harvey in our fight for some answers. Charles Tippet has had a conversation with the Environment minister Owen Patterson MP and explained that the money spent on Braunton would be wasted if further work was not carried out to Enhance the scheme. Richard Cresswell the EA’s regional Director has also been written to. Simon Tattersall who is Charles Tippets Landlord is putting pressure on all local departments asking for answers to questions under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Environment Agency are still working with their engineering department on drawing up some designs and pricing the suggestions they have at this time come up with. I am writing again to Jim Faux this week to chase up. The highways contact is on holiday so we have no update on any drain proposals for Caen Street or South Street.

Good to see Charles and Camilla are coming to see Braunton next week. This will help with the flood fight that we are having with the agencys I hope!.

The Great News is that the Car Park barriers are down at Caen Street end for an 8 month trial period. It was unanimously agreed by all those that attended the  BPC meeting but I do know that some that were not there would have voted against this decision.

Please warn your customers that if they have a large vehicle it must be in a parking bay. If it overhangs another bay they WILL get a ticket as it is in the off street parking Bylaws. It would be really good if you could all E mail the Parish Council and thank them for this decision. At the end of the season it would be good to gather all of your feedback and take it back to BPC.

INSURANCE. I do need to know how much the flood has cost you.

Take into account the following:-

Lost trade as it would have been the busiest day of the year.

Clean-up cost how many hours did it take you, Put a cost to it.

Insurance excess

Cost to the insurance company.

Lost stock

Lost bookings

Uninsured cost’s ie phone calls travel etc

How much is your insurance premium going up by.

Has your property been devalued?

It all adds up and I really need a starting value before next week end. We can keep amending as your costs become accurate.

Do you know of a resident that has made a claim or lost work because of the Caen flooding? Let me know, Put them in touch.

I am asking for a price of Policing and fire service for the day as we need an honest and fairly accurate costing all together. The Environment Agency work the cost of flooding out with their computer.

Possibly the same one they designed a scheme to stop the 100 year flood on.

All costs given are confidential. I just need to work out a total price.

Please E mail anything you can to me.

With thanks

Ben Byrom  West Cross Garage

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Braunton Car Park has height restriction barrier removed

With thanks to Ben Byrom of West Cross Garage for this post

Great news for Braunton and sensible too. The main village car park has had it’s height restriction barrier removed for a trial period of 8 months.

This now means that all you visitors that want to park in the village as a place to join up with the Tarka Cycle trial can do so without knocking your bikes off of your roof racks.

Surfers too can get your high top vans in to visit the Surf Museum and shop at all of our local surf shops.

Be careful. If you have a big vehicle you must not overhang into another place or you will get a ticket. The best place is use the overflow car park where you can over hang the grass.

Braunton is a great stop off point for everyone, Some great little shops in the main street and many places to eat. Please don’t drive through. We look forward to meeting you.

The village traders

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Braunton Flood update: Environment Agency Suggested Improvements (click to enlarge)

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Braunton Flood Update: A letter from the Environment Agency

From: Faux, Jim [Email address redacted]
Sent: 07 February 2013 15:10
To: West Cross Garage
Subject: FW: Funding for any additional improvements at Braunton

The Environment Agency has bid and been allocated £3.74M over the next 3 years for doing enhancement/large repair projects for the communities affected by the July, November and December 2012 floods in Devon and Cornwall.

The process for accessing this money would be doing a cost benefit assessment  ie calculating the cost of any improvements and comparing it to the flood damage avoided. This would then be compared with the other projects on the programme nationally to see if we are better spending the money in Braunton or elsewhere.

For a small improvement of the order of 200-300mm where the sandbag defence were put in place then for the business case it may be reasonable to say that this was part of the existing scheme. I think this is reasonable for small improvements but we would have to do a separate business case for anything significantly larger.

I hope this clarifies the funding a little


Jim Faux

01392 354134

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Braunton Flood Update: A letter to traders from Ben Byrom of West Cross Garage

Dear Trader.

As promised to those of you I have spoken to, I have an update of what has been going on post flooding. I was trying to E mail you all as it is quicker but my IT skills have failed today.

I will be giving my Presentation “What happen, Why, and What are we doing about it” to the full Parish Council on Monday evening at 6 pm. There is nothing secret about it as some have already suggested but there is very little room to have the whole village in to watch it. So I hope with full Council approval they will let me have the Parish hall one evening soon were I can give my WWW presentation, talk you through what is going on now and show a lot of photos of the flood day taken by local photographers.

What I do need from you all to justify a case to spend more money on enhancing the existing flood defence is:-

  • The value of your insurance claim due to the flood.
  • The value of any uninsured losses.
  • Your contact details if I do not have them. E mail, Day phone no and out of hours no, Mobile.
  • Details of any house holder that has lost out and made a claim, Please talk to your customers.

Any of the above details will be private we just need a total figure that we can evidence.

Any questions you have please E mail me.

With thanks

Ben Byrom     09/02/2013

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Braunton flood update: Note on Post Flood Work by Ben Byrom of West Cross Garage

I have been working on. What happened, Why and What is being done about it.

I was there from the start on the day of the flood so was pleased to be invited to talk and explain the problems with our MP the Environment Agency and Some Parish Councillor’s the day after the event whilst walking the river.

What Happened.

The river Topped out in the memorial Gardens the same as it did seven years ago. One tree was pulled out of the bank just below the bowling green bridge, This had fallen across the river causing a restriction backing up the water. A second tree came down the river complete with root ball and jammed under this bridge causing another partial restriction. Due to the flood defence work the memorial garden was able to hold a large capacity of water that held off the river bursting its bank (topping out) for a longer period of time.

It must be noted that when the river topped out Score bridge (lower down) was not at capacity and there was still room under the bridge arch. This shows that the defence work did work here as seven year ago the bridge was up to capacity very quickly raising the water level up to the memorial gardens before bursting its bank into Braunton.

The Environment agency disagree that the tree’s partially blocking the bridge were the cause of the river bursting its bank. I believe that they WERE the cause. An eye witness at the time of removing the lower tree was surprised at the sudden rush of water and drop in water level. I believe if the trees had not been there we would have possibly been flooded  later in the day but would have had better warning to sand bag.

As a result of the River burst we know that it very quickly filled Caen Street to a depth greater than has been seen for many years. The natural over flow is straight into South Street.

Over the years traders have complained about the drains not being cleaned often enough so causing the flooding. The answer is really not this simple. A new drain was laid in Caen Street in about 1964. If you look at pictures of the street at this period in time you can see all the obstructions they had to contend with to get a drain to the river, as the railway line was there along with signal box etc so a straight line drain meant that there was very little option as to where to run it so giving it little if any fall on the pipe. This drain pipe comes into the river lower than the river bed so when we get a high river the drain runs backwards into Caen Street.

Highways said that any sort of mechanical one way valve here was out of the question as they required maintenance and could be unreliable.

Sadly this flood we saw a new flood problem in South Street. As well as the over flow of river water from Caen Street a drain cover blow its lid off adding flood water from other areas of the village to the street. The road drains were unable to cope with this much water and due to the construction of Tesco’s road a low bowl has been formed that has got little drainage, This needs addressing.

The Tarka trail for the first time was breached at the rear of South Street property’s. This flooding has been caused by the extra water now being taken through Hordons Bridge. The Environment Agency said that it was inevitable that work on one area of the river will have an effect on another.

After meeting with engineers from the Environment Agency Mr Jim Faux, Devon County Council Highways Mr Paul Stuart and Mr Matt Beddow from Devon County Council it has been agreed that a new drain from Caen Street to the river is to be priced up to see if this is a feasible proposition as well as a checking of the drain situation in South Street.

The EA have proposed the raising of some river banks and walls to sand bag height, The removal of some shale banks and removal of some trees along with the cutting of growth through Bats meadow. There is no proposal to address the problems that have now been caused by increasing capacity at Hordens bridge.

There is room down stream of Tesco foot bridge to increase river capacity that would take some pressure off of the Tarka trail but this is not being considered at this stage.

The major problem on the day of the flood was the Braunton car park height barriers. The village was cut in half due to the water in Caen Street. It meant that Emergency vehicles had to travel the long way around the village on single track roads, We had to unload large lorries of sand bags onto smaller vehicles to get to areas that needed them. If for any reason this had been the height of the summer there would have been massive disruption. The traders of the village need all the holiday trade they can get. These days the majority come on holiday with larger vehicles or have large roof racks and are unable to park easily in Braunton so go and shop in Tesco taking trade from the village. If the barriers came down I would expect a large increase in parking revenue over the peak weeks. More visitors to our Museum, TIC, Country side Centre and Surf Museum who all depend on foot fall. Braunton Parish Council please seriously look at this problem and support local traders.


If you speed up a length of river by straightening or widening it you will effect or flood lower areas of river.

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