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West Cornwall flood risk to worsen, according to report

By CMJoshBarrie  |  Posted: October 15, 2013

An environmental report has said west Cornwall's flood risks are set to worsen

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WEST CORNWALL’S flood risk is only set to worsen, according to a new environmental report.

It states towns such as St Ives and Penzance are in growing danger of the impacts of rising sea levels, storm surges and other severe weather events.

Community Energy Plus (CEP) said many parts of west Cornwall are under threat following findings compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change.

CEP analysed the results to find out how west Penwith might suffer.

CEP said the area’s older, solid-walled properties will be hit hard by prospective colder winters.

While adding storm surges could affect the coastline and flash floods may become an increasing occurrence for ports like St Ives and Newlyn.

It also noted unpredictable conditions disrupt the tourism industry, important to the local economy.

The investigation suggested the implications could be “significant” and gave the train line at Penzance as an example of somewhere that could see future hazards.

CEP said: “The consequences of the glaciers and ice sheets melting thousands of miles away from our local shores are already being seen [here].

“This directly affects our coastal communities like St Ives and Penzance, as they face a higher risk of flooding from high tide events and disruptive weather.”

Also said to be more exposed are south coastal river surrounds.

In a flood management plan set out in 2009 by the Environment Agency, it notes the possibility of increasing river flows, predicting that in less than 100 years 150 more homes in Penzance could be in trouble.

Representatives of the agency recently visited Mousehole to discuss action and prevention following the flash floods that swept the port, among others, at the end of 2012 and the beginning of this year.

Although authorities said they are working on combating the issues the CEP said that more needs to be done to reduce carbon emissions, which many believe to be a cause of climate change. Drain management has also been seen a resulting issue.

Cornwall Council said, when discussing the Mousehole flooding: “The council is in regular contact with the Environment Agency and South West Water over flooding issues.

“We are currently carrying out surveys in Mousehole to identify the causes of the flooding and what measures are needed to resolve them.”

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  • Trecurnow  |  October 15 2013, 2:08PM

    The Penzance & IOS Strategic Investment Plan Aug 2009 states on page 105, para 14 Prepare for climate change… "certain areas including Long Rock, Eastern Green and the transport hub area of Penzance are at extreme risk of sea incursion. The A30 at Branwell Mill roundabout and Eastern Green are identified as currently at risk of becoming inundated by extreme tide levels. In addition Penzance is identified as the second town most vulnerable to tidal flooding in Cornwall. Land identified in the study as being submerged may however not actually be under water if tidal barriers and coastal defences are in place. Page 109 PZ5 Harbour Car Park This is a key site and opportunities to regenerate this area of the town must be considered as part of the overall masterplan, taking into account the vulnerability of this part of Penzance to sea level rise. Cornwall Council's Shoreline Management plan calls for reefs/breakwaters from Jubilee Pool west towards Newlyn to protect assets "as soon as possible". Plans are afoot to remedy this threat - just need Cornwall Council officers to get on board!

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