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Find details of the planning application submitted to East Devon District Council by the Environment Agency on behalf of The Lower Otter Restoration Project.

Planning application

The Lower Otter Restoration Project proposes a more sustainable way of managing the Otter Estuary and its immediate surroundings by working with, rather than against, nature.
Project aims

The Lower Otter Restoration Project is

part of a wider Project PACCo –

Promoting Adaptation to Changing

Coasts – which will receive €17.8m from

the Interreg VA France (Channel)

England programme.

PACCo also supports a project in the

Saâne valley in Normandy and will help

to develop other projects elsewhere. The

France (Channel) England programme is

co-financed by the European Regional

Development Fund.

Click here to find out more

Project PACCo


Seeking a sustainable future

Project aims

The planning application

The Lower Otter Estuary is a very special place. It is home to local people and businesses. It provides habitat for a wide variety of breeding and wintering bird species, and it is enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors each year.

But this coastal community, like many others, faces growing challenges due to climate change. As the oceans warm up, they take up more space and sea levels rise. We are also seeing more extreme storms and rainfall events which increase the intensity and erosional power of rivers and the sea.

The Lower Otter Restoration Project is working with local people and partner organisations to adapt and enhance the downstream part of the River Otter, its estuary, and its immediate surroundings for future generations in the face of a rapidly changing climate.

We are examining the possibility, both practically and financially, of a managed realignment scheme where the River Otter meets the sea near Budleigh Salterton in East Devon. The project is being considered because the existing 200-year-old sea defences are now starting to fail and are becoming increasingly hard to maintain. This is already impacting on public infrastructure, local businesses and homes, and recreational facilities. The project is in the process of securing sufficient funding as well as planning and other consents to allow us to move towards implementing the proposals.  

The major partners in the Lower Otter Restoration Project include Clinton Devon Estates, who own the land around the estuary, and the Environment Agency, the government body which has responsibility for improving resilience to climate change, flood defence, increasing biodiversity and improving habitats and water quality.

Find out more about the challenges facing the Lower Otter Estuary, managed realignment and the timeline for this project.


Meeting the challenges of climate change

Conservation Matters

It’s hard to see the Lower Otter Restoration Project as anything other than a cause for celebration, says Sam Scriven of the Jurassic Coast Trust.
Click here to read his article in Conservation Matters

Click here to see the expected implementation timeline


Latest updates

Overnight flooding at Lower Otter project site

21 October, 2021: The Environment Agency has issued a statement following overnight flooding of the site of the Lower Otter Restoration Project.
Click here for details

The case for the Lower Otter Restoration Project

We’ve put together a briefing note for councillors and other stakeholders about the project, its background and what it hopes to achieve.
Click here to read

Keep up-to-date

Sign-up for project updates

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Tell us what you think

To contact the Lower Otter Restoration Project, click here.

Updates Contacts

Project briefing


Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the project are available here.




Environmental Statement
To see the Lower Otter Restoration Project Environmental Statement, click here.