Green light for essential flood defence work in Par and St Blazey

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The StARR project consists of a series of innovative measures to help store and manage the flow of water through the Par and Sandy River catchments and thereby reduce flood risk to over 800 homes and businesses in St Blazey and Par.

The Environment Agency has now received planning permission for the major river works on the Par River and Treffry Canal. The conditional planning permission includes:

  • construction of a new sheet pile wall north of St Andrews Road
  • construction of a new sheet pile wall and embankment south of St Andrews Road
  • approximately 250m of new sheet piles set back and clad in stonework, and rebuilding the existing embankment

Many years of development and planning have led to this key milestone.

Tom Fletcher, of the Environment Agency’s Strategic Projects Team, said:

It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point and I am very pleased to see this very important stage being delivered.

It is a credit to the hard work put in, not only from the officers and consultants who work for the Environment Agency, Cornwall Council and other key partners, but also to the members of the local community who have been on this journey with us for many years using their own time to help us. We hope to take the project into its delivery stages with that continued backing and support from local people.

StARR aims to encourage investment in the area and make it a better place to work, live and play. In addition to reducing flood risk, the project will deliver a number of important environmental improvements. The team are working with the Friends of St Andrews Wetland Reserve, and local town and parish councils, to ensure the environmental improvements are in keeping with their plans and aspirations.

Note to editors

The StARR project is a partnership of 5 organisations:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Cornwall Council
  • The Westcountry Rivers Trust
  • South West Water
  • The University of Exeter

It is being funded by a variety of sources including Defra £10.8m, Flood Defence Grant in Aid £13.4m and up to £7.8m from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  Additional funding is being provided by South West Water and Cornwall Council.

Investment in flooding has significantly increased in the last year. In the March 2020 Budget, the government announced that it would double its investment in flooding and coastal erosion to £5.2 billion over the next 6 years. An additional £170m is also being spent on accelerating the construction of flood defence projects in 2020 and 2021.

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