SRA End of Year Report 2017-18: Taunton Strategic Flood Alleviation Improvements Scheme

Taunton needs flood risk reduction works that will protect existing properties and allow the town to develop safely. SRA funding is helping the Environment Agency and Taunton Deane Borough Council, as partners, to provide strategic flood alleviation improvements. This scheme is also an important component of the pioneering Taunton Garden Town initiative – which involves the SRA-backed Sponge project – see pages 19-20.

Past studies have put the case for 1) improved flood defence walls in Taunton, combined with 2) a flood storage area upstream, at Bradford on Tone, to provide capacity for the next 100 years.

Being achieved: Following engagement with landowners to get access, topographic surveying and ground investigation works have been done at Bradford on Tone.

In Taunton, the project team analysed an option known as “Taunton Town Centre Raised Walls with flood storage on the Sherford Stream”. Borehole and topograhic work was completed in 2017, along with ecological and desk-based archaeological surveys. The aim was to determine what flood risk benefits this option would offer Taunton town centre, and to assess its performance and cost against the Bradford on Tone proposal.

Having compared these single options, using computer modelling and concept designs, the project team began work in January 2018 on developing a cost-effective combination.

This Combined Options work has identified local interventions that could provide a useful increase in flood capacity. These possibilities will be further investigated during 2018.

The aim is to have a Strategic Plan ready for consultation around the end of 2018. It will focus on the most appropriate component(s) to take forward in the short term. In 2019, it is hoped to seek appropriate consents for flood risk reduction works.

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