Environment Agency Calstock Update 8 April 2022

Good news – the footpath bridge across the old flood embankment is to reopen this Easter.

Additional rails to the bridge, fencing and access improvements are due to be completed by the Tamar Community Trust by 15th April 2022.  When this work is completed, the site will comply with the Environment Agency’s Public Safety Risk Assessment standards, enabling the opening of the path and bridge.

The Environment Agency, Tamar Community Trust and Calstock Parish Council understand the frustration closure of the footpath has caused to the public.  

Here we explain the reasons behind the delay:

At Calstock, a new footbridge has been designed and constructed to span the breach through the old flood embankment and to maintain the footpath. This was a condition imposed by Cornwall Council on the Environment Agency’s planning application for the wider flood defence and habitat creation scheme.

The Environment Agency sought partner organisations who would contribute funding to, and then manage and deliver the design and construction of the bridge. Once constructed, the Environment Agency would transfer the land to a third-party organisation, along with the future maintenance and operation of the footpath and bridge.

The Tamar Community Trust and Calstock Parish Council offered the support required for the scheme to progress and to discharge the planning condition.

As the old embankment no longer forms part of the flood defence scheme, the Environment Agency does not have the funding mechanism or directive to retain the embankment and maintain it as a footpath in perpetuity.  We will continue to work with our partners, Tamar Community Trust and Calstock Parish Council, to resolve the outstanding matters and complete the agreements as planned.  This will ensure the footpath can remain open in the future.