The £35m StARR Project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aims to reduce the flood risk to the communities of Par and St Blazey from surface water, river flooding and tidal flooding.

After several years in development, construction of natural flood management and engineering measures is underway at a number of sites across Par and St Blazey and some of the work is complete.  Here’s a summary of what we’ve been doing:

Ponts Mill, Luxulyan Valley World Heritage Site

The Par River flows within a stone-faced earth bank which is raised above ground level, a result of historic mining and engineering activity in the catchment.  At Ponts Mill near the viaduct, the river had breached its bank twice due to very heavy rainfall.

The StARR team carried out work to strengthen the riverbank and, as a result of these works, have opened up the woodland glade and installed accessible seating for people to rest, relax and enjoy this popular area.  The area has been seeded and partially landscaped and is greening up nicely.  The team will complete planting and monitor and manage this over the next year.

Par Lane

Work to improve the highway drainage system and reduce flood risk in this area is complete.  Specialist drainage kerbs and new drainage infrastructure were installed around the Brooks Corner roundabout junction.  Work was also co-ordinated with Cornwall Council Highway department’s drainage improvement work to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum.  Later this year, rain gardens will be built along Par Lane which will store water from the road in heavy rainfall and release it slowly back into the drainage system.  These will be part of the project’s greener, natural flood management measures.

Car on road with kerbstones that have drainage holes
New high-capacity kerb drainage at Brooks Corner

St Austell Road Pond (A390 Trenovissick Road junction)

A storage pond was created in the grassed area, connected to the drainage system and the area was landscaped.  This is a natural flood management measure that will gather water during a storm and slowly release it into the drainage network after the storm has passed, reducing flood risk in the area.

A390/Trenovissick Road junction

St Andrews Road

It was necessary to fell some trees in order to reach the work sites.  Sheet piles were then installed along the edge of the Treffry Canal to strengthen it and raise flood defences.  New bird and bat boxes were set up in the area and ‘bug hotels’, benches and cycle racks were created out of the felled trees.

Bull Engine Park, Lamellyn Road (Burrows Centre)

A stormwater storage basin was created and connected to the drainage network.  Cornwall Council is taking the opportunity to install a new community skatepark alongside the StARR Project work.  Skaters can help choose the equipment until 12 August at:

Doubletrees School

A storm water storage tank is being built beneath the school car park and should be complete by early 2022.  When finished, the tank will collect stormwater and release it slowly into the drainage network after each storm has passed.  As part of these works, we’ve created a temporary car park at St Blazey Cricket Club for school users and this will remain for the community to use, which will be a great additional community legacy.

Storage tanks under Doubletrees School car park

What’s next?

  • An earth embankment will be built next to the river in the St Andrews Road area as a flood protection measure and improvements will be made to the weir. In late August, flood defence work will begin next to the river in the Kilhallon area and on the creation of rain gardens along Par Lane.
  • Designs are being developed for a number of other measures across the catchment, including construction of storage basins, Cornish hedging and tree planting in the Cornhill, Doubletrees and Rose Hill areas, further work on the main Par River and reconnection of a river flood plain in the catchment.
  • The StARR team may be available to answer questions at two community events in the autumn.

You can find the latest on the project:

To find out more about Property Flood Resilience, please visit

This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

It is also funded by:

  • Cornwall Council
  • Environment Agency
  • University of Exeter
  • Westcountry Rivers Trust
  • South West Water