UK-based Network Rail has received clearance from Mid-Devon District Council for its £7.2m flood resilience scheme at Hele.

The plans have been drafted for lowering the frequency and duration of flooding on the railway in the region.

Under the scheme, two road bridges will be replaced as well as the floodplain will be reprofiled.

This work is “part of a wider package of work to reduce flooding on the main railway line through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.”

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Work scope includes the demolition of the current bridge at Station Road of Hele and replacing it with a viaduct, helping improve the flow of water through the structure.

Subject to agreement with the mill owners, a new access bridge will be constructed to Devon Valley Mill.

The floodplain will be reprofiled to further lower flooding risk to the highway and railway. Other works include local flood mitigation at Hele Square.

Network Rail plans to begin construction in late spring this year.

Network Rail’s project senior sponsor John Newland said: “We are pleased that Mid-Devon District Council has approved our plans, which will help to provide a more resilient railway on this key part of the national rail network.

“Since submitting our planning application, we have been carrying out further land and drainage surveys, refining the designs for the structures and putting a plan in place to make sure the project leaves a net gain for biodiversity.”

Last month, Network Rail initiated exclusive discussions with a private-sector consortium to upgrade its telecoms infrastructure.