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Flood Task & Finish Group.

Flood Task & Finish Group.

Notes from the meeting held 29th March 2021 4.00 -6.00 p.m. via Zoom

Apologies: Simon de Vay - detained in London

Chaired by David Edmonson in the absence of Kevin Mowat who was on leave.

27 persons present.

1) Update by Jo Penhaligan, committee engagement officer, who explained she'd been in position since January and presented the information that had gone out:

A web page on Torbay Council Website

An article in Preston Beach Hut

An article in Council's 8 page spread delivered to 60,000 homes across the bay.

Press release distributed to all key media, Councillors, Community Partnerships, Neighbourhood Forums and other key contacts.

40 posters put up across 15 sites across Paignton and Preston - between Broadsands to Palace Avenue mentioned.

2 social media posts on Council's site.

2 articles in One Torbay eNewsletter (over 7,500 subscribers)

730 hits on the website information with over 500 of them being unique visitors with an average of 5 and a half minutes per view. (This is from a population of approx. 75,000).

A video went out in February on the Council's Social Media sites, along with questionaires.

Several people present, particularly Trevor Cornish of Paignton Club who walks daily from Preston to the Paignton Club, said that they had not seen the posters displayed (nor had the writer) although Lionel Uden said that he had seen them. Someone else said that the only one seen on the sea front was one by the Vue Cinema - very small and behind opaque glass.

Jo was asked about the original thought of displaying posters on the Midas Hoardings around the two new hotels being constructed on the sea front, but she explained that things became a little complicated there, so it hadn't happened.

Freda Bamford Dwane asked if she might be missing a trick here, as she'd received from Catherine Fritz, Chair of the Neighbourhood Forum, some amazing projections of the regeneration of the promenade area, with alternative suggestions of wall locations and wondered where this fitted into the discussion - but was advised that this item was to be covered by Cllr Dave Thomas.

Cllr Dave Thomas said that some people were in receipt of diagrams to share alternative schemes produced by the Community Partnership, which were an opportunity for conversation.

Agenda Item 2) Tim Jones head of Engineering at TDA explained that they had been looking at the scheme for 10 years or more (writer's note: please bear in mind that this only became public knowledge and open to discussion in December 2020 thanks to Cllr Chris Lewis).

Tim Jones said that he will circulate an A4 summary with the thought processes. It is normal for the TDA to put the business case to the Council. However, you will recall from previous meetings that even Kevin Mowat of Torbay Council, was not aware of the detail of the scheme until very recently.

Tim explained that tanks had been installed under the green to collect surface water and it must be born in mind that the land on the green is virtually impermeable - therefore, if any barrier were to be constructed on the town side of the green, as has been suggested, the danger would be of creating a lagoon, with all the health and safety implication that that would bring.

The idea of a breakwater out at sea had been suggested but we are in area of marine conservation, with sea grasses, sea horses and submerged caves, so this was discounted. The detailed information will be shared, Tim was adamant that nothing will be submitted to Planning until agreement is reached.

Lorraine ? raised a question about sea flood water coming up from beneath properties during tidal flooding, and Freda Bamford Dwane explained that when Kernou Road (where she lives) experienced flooding from the worst incident in October 2004 there was evidence of the water level at a minimum of 10 inches on their patio with no water inside the property (thanks to effective double glazed doors and patio doors), and the water did not come up though their wooden floors.

Colin Hurst said that there was a huge area not clear as to how the plan was agreed on, and there was a major concern over graffiti (this will be addressed in Lydia Johnson's presentation later in the meeting).

Cllr Chris Lewis, as a councillor for Preston, was very concerned that there was no wall proposed for Marine Parade. He was particularly concerned for the kiosk at the entrance to Marine Parade. This is something that can go for further discussion.

Mike Morey said, before having to leave the meeting to attend another, that discussion must not stop here, but must continue. We can't please everyone, but we need a majority before it's taken to planning in two months.

Katie ? said that technical reports need to be in the public domain, and would appreciate the Council publishing them all. Environment Agency funding was agreed in 2019, but still had only just come before the public. There were 9 different schemes discussed, and only 5 have been mentioned, so we will be glad to see the other 4.

Opening/gates - how will these function? manual/electonic? The Beaches Team led by Simon Pinder will be responsible for closing these. The majority will be hinged gates with pairs being present at road openings. Further consultation needs to take place on the up and over points of access.

3) Details from Cllr Christine Carter/Tom Littlewood/Lydia Johnson. Cllr Carter has been in touch with Churston Grammar School and Paignton College and submitted art content ideas to Lydia Johnson, who has published on the Council website suggestions of illustrations for the proposed wall. The final ideas will be in panels produced in tiles (you need to see the illustration of these, as I find it difficult to explain - they are published on the Council Website), and the challenge will be between making the relief sufficient to be a graffiti deterrent, and not too deep to prevent ability of cleaning off any graffiti managing to challenge that deterrent. The artwork will only go so far to deter graffiti and a cleaning management will have to be in place. There are many artworks of this type in place, e.g. Gloucester. So far the suggestions are beach huts, lobster pots, bathing machines, sailing boats and the pier. Once agreed this will be arranged at intervals along the length of the wall.

Comments are welcomed on the Council website.

Lydia explained that they were speaking with the concrete fabricators about the colour of the wall, and how to introduce this.

Cllr Lewis said that we have seen in the past there has been lack of maintenance and the council will have to put a sum aside for this, and should be a planning condition. EA funding is for the capital element and does not include ongoing maintenance and repair. If the EA actually owned the wall they would get funding for maintenance from central Government. It is thought that Section 106 monies could be channelled towards this.

The next meeting was agreed for 4.00 p.m. 26th April.

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