Topsham residents blame Environment Agency for flooding
Residents in Topsham say that a change in policy by the Environment Agency is responsible for the flooding they are currently experiencing.
The land around the River Clyst next to Darts Farm is currently underwater causing chaos for commuters to Exeter and for Topsham residents.
The flooding has resulted in one of the main routes into Exeter being closed, which is used by 8000 vehicles a day. This has also impacted heavily on other routes into Exeter, such as the Sandygate roundabout with massive queues.
In 2010 the Environment Agency changed their policy to focus on the protection of watering birds in the area, choosing to allow the land around the River Clyst to become waterlogged, acting as a sponge rather than the water naturally draining into the River Clyst, so the flood storage capacity has been used up.
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A spokesman for Darts Farm said: "This problem is only going to get worse and could have a massive impact of the economy of Topsham as well as traffic in the area."
Michael Dart also described this policy change as 'madness'
Nigel Cheffers-Heard, of the Bridge Inn pub in Topsham added: "This is a long term problem and is a serious issue for all residents here.
"I would ask the EA to maintain the riverbanks at Clyst St Mary, which as a matter of policy they stopped doing in 2010. It has not been cleared or dredged for a long time, which has caused all the flooding here."