Violent flood unlikely to be repeated for centuries

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The Independent Online

The violent flood that hit Boscastle last August was so rare it is unlikely to be repeated for centuries, an Environ-ment Agency report said yesterday. The likelihood of a repeat deluge of similar proportions in the devastated Cornish village was one in 400.

The violent flood that hit Boscastle last August was so rare it is unlikely to be repeated for centuries, an Environ-ment Agency report said yesterday. The likelihood of a repeat deluge of similar proportions in the devastated Cornish village was one in 400.

These preliminary findings, from an ongoing study into the flood, pave the way for a rebuilding programme. Applications to rebuild houses and shops will "in most cases" not be opposed on flood-risk grounds, but the agency warned that it would "strongly oppose" building proposals that would increase flood risk.

The agency will use the findings to advise on how buildings swept away or damaged should be reconstructed.

Last month, North Cornwall District Council deferred a decision on whether to grant planning permission to rebuild a gift shop in the lower part of the village until the agency's findings had been published.

The findings also revealed that about 440 million gallons of water, heavy with cars and refuse, flowed through Boscastle at a speed of more than 10mph on 16 August. It was the worst of all previous known floods in the village, including those recorded in 1847, 1957, 1958 and 1963.

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