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Environment Agency questioned over water level in Hayle pool

By CMChloe  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

Environment Agency questioned over water level in Hayle pool

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A Hayle town councillor is calling for the Environment Agency (EA) to review their policy at Copperhouse Pool after the recent storm and high tide saw more water stored without significant effect.

Brian Capper said the EA have rejected calls from the town council to allow more tides to be kept in the pool, insisting it would pose a flood risk.

However following the extreme weather, Hayle suffered no flooding and Mr Capper is questioning why more water can’t be kept in the pool at other times of the year.

“Hayle Town Council has for years been trying to persuade the EA to allow more tides to be kept in Copperhouse Pool, to enable more use for water sports, for aesthetic improvement during the tourist season and permit occasional salt water inundation of the upper reaches of Wilson’s Pool to enhance the salt marsh.

“One of [the EA’s] main objections has been that the pool has to be used as a flood catchment for rivers, streams and land drains during bad weather and that the gate must be shut at low or mid tide level during low pressure events, to ensure suitable capacity for this purpose and protect low lying properties from flooding.

“During these recent storms and severe low pressure weather, the EA actually allowed the highest tide of the year to be locked in the pool. It is interesting to note that apparently no properties or streets were flooded, so is it not time for the EA to review their policy and permit more use of Copperhouse pool as Hayle Town Council and other bodies have been requesting?”

The gate at Cooperhouse Pool is strictly controlled by the EA and is part of the Hayle flood defence scheme.

A spokesman for the EA said that water levels are constantly monitored at the pool and there is a delicate balancing act trying to avoid river and tidal flooding.

“The worst situation to happen is when we get a massive ton of water building up. We shut the gate at high tide to stop the tide coming into the pool and posing a risk to local properties. It is designed to keep any risk of flooding to a minimum. If we kept levels high in the pool we wouldn’t have enough time to respond,” he said.

“Obviously in any extreme weather conditions the agency has precautions in place to minimise the risk of flooding. We can never fully eliminate risk, but our teams acted accordingly and did the job, nowhere flooded.”

Last week a representative from the EA attended a Harbour Liason meeting to discuss the issue, but some town councillors said they were not satisfied with the answers.

Mr Capper has proposed that the town council write to the EA to ask for a full explanation.

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