Page last updated at 20:01 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 21:01 UK

Boscastle flood defences opened

Boscastle flood Defences
The river has been widened to increase capacity

A 10m flood defence scheme has been officially opened in an historic Cornish village devastated by torrential rainfall four years ago.

Most people in Boscastle say they are pleased with the work.

But some are unhappy about delays in receiving compensation for loss of trade during the works.

About 440 million gallons of flood water poured through Boscastle, ruining buildings and washing vehicles away in August 2004.

There is a new bridge above the River Valency and the river was also widened to increase capacity when water levels are high.

The existing lower bridge was damaged in the flood and planning permission granted for its demolition and replacement.

Lost turnover

Project manager Philip Barlow said: "We've increased the standard of flood risk here from about a one in 10-year return to a one in 75.

"We obviously can't prevent water such as occurred in 2004 but we are making this place a lot safer for the more regular flooding that has occurred here."

Some traders boycotted the opening ceremony in the village on Friday.

Peter Gibson, who owns a shop in Boscastle, said while he was pleased with the flood defences he was not happy about a loss of trade at his shop while the work was carried out.

"The Environment Agency have rejected out of hand any form of compensation caused by work this winter," said Mr Gibson.

"We've actually lost 79% of our turnover this winter."

The Environment Agency said it was trying to resolve claims as quickly as possible and some interim payments had been made.

During the 2004 floods, military helicopters airlifted about 100 people to safety, 58 properties were flooded and four businesses were demolished.

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It is hoped the wider bridge will reduce flood risks

Lower Bridge replacement approved
15 Aug 07 |  Cornwall
Bridge planners visit Boscastle
17 Jul 07 |  Cornwall
Village flood defence put to test
22 Jun 07 |  Cornwall
Flood village bridge plan dropped
22 May 07 |  Cornwall
New Boscastle centre set to open
16 Dec 06 |  Cornwall
Worry over Boscastle bridge plan
15 Aug 06 |  Cornwall
Boscastle's mixed recovery
18 Aug 05 |  Cornwall

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