The St Austell Bay Resilient Regeneration Project (StARR) is a £32M flood alleviation and regeneration scheme led by Cornwall Council to reduce flood risk to communities living and working in the St Austell Bay area, particularly in Par and St Blazey.
Work is focusing on the the whole of the Par River Catchment and is be delivered in partnership between Cornwall Council, The Environment Agency, Westcountry Rivers Trust, South West Water, the University of Exeter and Cornwall Development Company. The project is receiving up to £7.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Additional funding is being provided by a variety of sources including DEFRA Growth funds, Flood Defence Grant in Aid, South West Water and Cornwall Council.
The communities of Par and St Blazey lie in the bed of an old estuary, with the rise in sea levels and more intense rainfall due to climate change there is a significant increase risk of flooding to the area. Currently damage occurs in the area every 1-2 years, it is estimated that significant flood events can cause £20million of damage to homes and businesses in the local area, with the most extreme floods potentially causing approximately £100m in damages. There is an immediate need to be able to store the equivalent of 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water throughout the catchment in order to protect houses and businesses.
The solutions that are being developed include working with nature in the river catchments to slow the flow of water before it reaches local communities, working with landowners to co-design water management solutions that fit with their business model, designing towns, streets and green spaces to work harder to keep water away from homes and businesses and working with businesses and communities to increase flood resilience.
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