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Credit: Network Rail
Network Rail has submitted a planning application to combat flooding of the railway at Hele, eight miles northeast of Exeter.
The application has been submitted to Mid Devon District Council, and if approved, a £7.2m scheme will replace two road bridges and re-profile the floodplain, which will reduce the frequency and duration of flooding and help prevent a vital link to the South West being cut off. The proposals are part of a wider package of work to reduce flooding on the Great Western main line through Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall.
If planning consent is granted, work is due to start on-site in the spring/summer of 2022. The present bridge over the River Culm in Station Road, Hele will be replaced with a viaduct, increasing the flow of water through the structure. A new access bridge to Devon Valley Mill will also be built, subject to agreement with the mill owners.
While the new bridges are being built, Station Road will need to be closed for approximately eight months, with a diversion via Bradninch towards Cullompton and along the B3181.
Network Rail is working with the local bus company to ensure a suitable service is maintained. Access will be provided through the worksite for pedestrians and cyclists to enable them to continue using the level crossing.
The proposals do not involve any work to the railway itself, and train services will not be affected.
John Newland, Network Rail’s senior sponsor for the project, said: “We are working towards environmentally sustainable travel by providing a more resilient railway on this key part of the national rail network.
“As well as providing more reliable services for passengers and freight as we recover from the pandemic, the scheme will improve Station Road for users and generally cut the frequency and duration of flooding for businesses close to the level crossing in Hele.
“We have been engaging with the community to evaluate options and to review our flood modelling and we would like to thank them for their invaluable input. We are committed to getting this scheme right.
“We appreciate that if the work goes ahead, it will cause disruption for the people of Hele and Bradninch and we’ll do all we can to keep this to a minimum.”
Anyone who wishes to view or comment on the application should do so by visiting the planning section of Mid Devon District Council’s website at
More information on the proposals is available at
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Company Number: 13512367
VAT Number: 392755949
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