Save the Clyst campaign calls for local voices
The ‘Save the Clyst’ action group are calling on local residents to send in their objections to the Lower Clyst Project.
In November the River Clyst burst its banks and flooded roads around Topsham. It led to main routes from East Devon into Exeter being cut off for several hours.
The Environment Agency (EA) said the floods were a result of "exceptionally heavy" rainfall. Yet those opposed to the plans fear it could happen up to 10 times a year, should the proposed Lower Clyst Project go ahead.
The project involves removing maintenance of the river banks, which happened in 2010, with the intent they will breach and flood all the flat land between Topsham and Clyst St Mary on high tide. The aim is to create a habitat for birds.
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Organisers of the Topsham based group sent out the following infomation, with hope to raise awareness of the cause.
“As you probably know, we and the landowners of the Clyst Valley have spent several years opposing the Lower Clyst Project. This is a scheme promoted by the Environment Agency and RSPB to effectively flood all the flatland in the Clyst Valley on high tides to create intertidal habitat.
The entire Environment Agency case has been characterised the propaganda and half-truths. We have a report which casts serious doubt on the validity of a Disturbance Study of birds in the Exe estuary. Although the EA insists that they are merely following the demands of the European Habitats Directive in replacing lost habitat in the Exe estuary, they are unable to show us where this lost habitat is. In fact, their argument is theoretical, but it suits their case. They keep repeating the mantra of “habitat creation”, when in fact we all know we have a perfectly good habitat which they aim to destroy. We think this scheme has many other flaws, too numerous to mention here.
The project is now in a consultation phase, which closes next Monday, March 4th. We need you to add your voices to ours. We respectfully request that you send an e-mail along the lines of “we agree with the Clyst landowners and Bridge Inn objection to the Lower Clyst Project, and look forward to seeing your responses to their detailed criticisms and questions”.
By their own admission, the project threatens the road across Topsham flats, one of only two major routes into Exeter from East Devon. Without this road, Topsham would effectively become a cul-de-sac, and die. Although they have no funding in place to deal with this major threat, they want us to go along with the plan. At a recent meeting of Clyst landowners, 20 out of 20 people present agreed our continued opposition.
When this project first became public, we were told that if we didn’t want the project, it wouldn’t happen. Six years on we are still telling the EA we don’t want the project, but they seem not to be listening.
Please send your objection NOW to: