Work has started on a recovery programme for Torbay following significant damage caused by Storm Emma.

Some of the damage and repairs will take some time to complete. However to address this, Torbay Council has set up a Recovery Coordination Group and is prioritising work to ensure as much as possible is completed in time for the Easter Bank Holiday.

Although inspections continue to take place on the damage, where possible, work has already begun to help restore the beaches and coastline, parks and green spaces, and highways.

Many beach huts at Preston Beach were badly damaged and moved from their stands. Where possible these have now been reinstated by the Beaches team who are responsible for transporting and securing the huts. The temporary toilets situated at Goodrington South are being repaired and will be returned in due course.

The foundations of the iconic Torre Abbey Sands Bridge have been impaired but after a thorough assessment, Torbay Council has planned repair work which is due to commence in the coming week. 

There has been a large amount of sand and/or shingle washed away from the beaches across the Bay. To establish the extent of this, Torbay Council is meeting with Plymouth Coastal Observatory (PCO) this week in order to commence a research project.

Torquay, Paignton and Brixham harbours are reporting business as usual. Brixham Breakwater Lighthouse is currently out of action and repairs are ongoing. A notice has been sent to all mariners and the coastguard to inform them of the situation.

The Geoplay Park on Paignton Green has experienced extensive damage and has been closed for safety precautions. Our independent play safety inspector (RoSPA) will be making a site visit in the next few days to make a full assessment of the safety of the play park. Torbay Council will work to support the Paignton Town Community Partnership with this popular attraction.

Remaining Highways issues include damage to Torbay Road on Torquay Seafront. Damage to footways and the central reservation has occurred. The road is open and usable and repairs will be scheduled in due course. Inspections are continuing on other parts of the network to ascertain whether there is further damage.

Members of the community have been extremely helpful in the clear-up operation and we want to encourage local residents to continue to do this. However, they are being asked not to carry out repair work in public areas – as well as being a health and safety issue it can actually hinder the identification of problems.

Anyone who sees damage in their local area are being encouraged to let their ward councillor know so the information can be collated and used as part of Torbay Council’s recovery plan. Feedback will provide valuable information as to what is happening in Torbay’s communities and will help us respond accordingly.


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