TEIGNMOUTH and Shaldon have been rocked by the shock news that flood prevention schemes totalling more than £12 million for the two communities could be scrapped.

New data suggests that future tide levels in the area may not be as high as forecast, and the Environment Agency has now withdrawn the planning application for the £8.5 million Shaldon project.

It is checking new calculations and said more time was needed to fully evaluate the impact on tidal defences at Shaldon and Ringmore, and across the river at Teignmouth back beach.

This could take up to a year, and the agency added: 'The implications of the new information may be too significant to carry on at this critical time.'

Residents and councillors are still reeling from the announcement.

Cllr Peter Williams, chairman of Shaldon Parish Council, said: 'Our priority is to protect the village, and while we are happy with a reappraisal of tide levels and risk, we are anxious that the £8.5 million grant is ring fenced.

'Funding is going to be increasingly hard to obtain.'

Teignmouth councillor Sylvia Russell added: 'It is awful news, and I hope it is a delay and not a permanent cancellation.

'It means that large parts of the town centre will remain blighted from future redevelopment.'