Thousands of Devon homes gets extra flood defence cash
Five thousand homes in Devon will benefit from extra government cash to tackle flooding say ministers.
It came as calls were made for the funding to be rolled out as quickly as possible after householders in Buckfastleigh and Kennford, were "grievously affected" by the impact of recent heavy rainfall.
An additional £120 million was announced towards the end of last year for flood defences, in the wake of spending cuts.
Speaking in the Commons, Tory MP for Central Devon Mel Stride said the extra money would be welcomed by his constituents "…not least those in Buckfastleigh and Kennford, who were grievously affected by the recent flooding".
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But pressing Environment Minister Richard Benyon in the Commons, Mr Stride said: "May I urge him to ensure it is rolled out as quickly as possible, and may I also ask him how many properties in Devon will benefit from it?"
Responding, Mr Benyon said: "I can tell him that £35 million of the £120 million that we announced in the autumn statement last year is already available for the 2013-14 financial year, and that the remaining £85 million will be allocated to schemes starting in 2014-15. That means that 5,000 homes in Devon will benefit from additional funds."
Among the schemes set to benefit is the £26 million project in Exeter, which promises to create and safeguard thousands of jobs.
A £6 million government grant paved the way for work to start next year, with local financial contributions in place.
Expected to be completed by late 2017 it is set to provide £204 million of direct economic benefit to Exeter.
In the wake of budget cuts to spending for flood defences, the Government has moved to raise more cash from communities towards protection measures.
Mr Benyon told the Commons; "Partnership funding is enabling more schemes to go ahead and allowing greater local choice. It has already produced up to £148 million in external funding over the four years to 2015, compared with £13 million during the previous three years.
"There are indications that a larger proportion of protected households will be in deprived areas, and up to a quarter more schemes are set to go ahead in the coming years than was the case under the old system."