Three final consultation events are being held in Looe during June and July to give the local community the opportunity to help determine which of the flood defence options will be submitted to the Government at the end of the summer. 

The events will be held at the Quayside Centre, West Looe, between 10 am and 4 pm on Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17 and finally on Friday, July 14.  

“This is a very important moment, both for the Looe Flood Defence and Regeneration scheme and for the long term future of Looe ” said Martyn Alvey Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change. “Looe is already one of the most frequently flooded coastal towns in the UK and the impact of the significant flooding experienced at the end of March shows the importance of protecting the town from the effects of climate change in the future. 

“The support of local residents and businesses is vital to the success of the scheme. We want to ensure that the whole community has the opportunity to give us their views on the option they feel will best secure the environmental and economic future of their town over the next 50-100 years. “

Six options have been considered in detail as part of the development of the scheme.

·     Adaptation of the town/community

·     Demountable Barriers

·     Permanent Flood Walls

·     Quayside Extension

·     Tidal Barrier Only

·     Tidal Barrier with Breakwaters

The aim of the consultation events is to provide an opportunity for the community to view the latest information on the different options, and to talk to members of the team about which option they feel will best protects the town from avoidable flooding events for decades to come. This feedback will then be used to finalise the Outline Business Case which will be submitted to the Government.

Looe already has an unwelcome history of flooding. During the fortnightly spring tides, the sea routinely reaches up high against the quayside walls. When a storm occurs at the same time, the water comes over the quay wall and floods the surrounding areas. Environment Agency records show that currently the centre of the town typically floods several times a year, putting more than 200 properties at risk. 

The impact of climate change, with sea levels expected to rise by over one metre during the next 100 years, means that in less than 50 years most of the town will flood more often and to a greater depth, with sandbags and flood boards becoming less effective.

This will see key areas such as the health centre, the police and fire stations, the main food stores and cafes and the fish market, the main roads, the Harbour and Millpool car parks and the railway line flooded on storm and high tide days. 

“While feedback from previous engagement events highlighted support for action from many within the community, a level of confusion was also evident over the need for and benefits of the scheme, as well as concerns over some of the flood protection measures which are being proposed.” said Martyn Alvey. 

“We believe that doing nothing is not an option and we want to ensure that the decisions on the final scheme reflect the aspirations and needs of the community. “ 

“The team have looked at all the comments and questions which were raised during the recent workshops, as well as in previous engagement events. They have used this feedback to provide this latest information about the challenges facing Looe as a result of climate change and the different options being developed to protect the town during the next 50 to 100 years. 

“We are planning to submit the Outline Business Case to the Government after the summer and so these events are the last opportunity for the local community to give us their views on the different options ahead of this submission.