Plans in Hele to reduce flooding

Network Rail submit plans to reduce flooding on South West rail link

Network Rail has submitted a planning application to Mid Devon District Council to help reduce the frequency of flooding on the railway.

The £7.2m scheme would help reduce the frequency and duration on the railway at Hele helping prevent a key link to the South West being cut off.

The plans would see two road bridges replaced and the flood plain reprofiled.

This would mean fewer closures and less disruption for freight, rail passengers and road users.

The proposals form part of a larger package looking to reduce flooding on the main railway line through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

Should planning consent be granted work will start in the spring/summer of 2022.

Network Rail is currently working to put provisions in place to ensure suitable access will be provided through the worksite should the work take place.

Station Road in Hele would have to close for around eight months whilst work takes place with a diversion in place in the area.

The proposals do not affect the railway itself and therefore train services would continue to run throughout.

John Newland, Network Rail’s senior sponsor for the project spoke on the importance of Network Rail’s proposals.

Mr Newland said: “We are working towards environmentally sustainable travel by providing a more resilient railway on this key part of the national rail network.

“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.

“We’ll do all we can to keep this to a minimum.”

The application can be viewed and comments can be made by visiting the planning section of Mid Devon District Council’s website at

Further information on the proposals can be found at


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