St. Austell Bay Resilient Regeneration (StARR) project

Closed 31 May 2023

Opened 10 Jun 2019


The St. Austell Bay Resilient Regeneration (STARR) project aims to reduce flood risk to over 800 homes and businesses in Par and St. Blazey.

The scheme will bring additional benefits to the area by encouraging investment and making the area a better place to work, live and play.

We are working in partnership with Cornwall Council, University of Exeter, South West Water and Westcountry Rivers Trust.

Click here to view the image above in more detail: StARR Infographic



Why Par and St. Blazey needs a flood scheme

Many of the homes, businesses and infrastructure of the towns sit in the bed of a former estuary, boats used to sail up and dock at Ponts Mill at the base of Luxulyan Valley. However, over the last few hundred years, the former estuary has become silted up with material bought downstream as a result of tin and clay mining in the upper River Par catchment. The natural river has also been raised up and split in two to drain through the town in the form of the River Par and Treffry Canal which adds to the flood risk.

Par and St. Blazey are affected by 3 different types of flooding:

Surface water flooding - when rainwater doesn’t drain away through the drainage systems or soak into the ground and lies on or flows over the ground

River flooding – when a river or stream exceeds its capacity and overtops its banks. Also known as fluvial flooding.

Tide-locking – when a high tide causes water to back flow. This happens on the Par River, St. Blazey Stream and Polmear Stream.



How the scheme will work

The Par and St. Blazey Flood Defence system is one of the most complex and highly maintained in Cornwall. It is maintained by a number of different organisations and individuals – the Environment Agency, Cornwall Council, South West Water and individual riverside property owners. However, these defences are now quite old and cannot cope with the levels of flooding that are now experienced. The project will repair these existing defences and install more to cope with new demands put on the system to ensure that the chronic flooding problem is now dealt with. We will also be using new innovative natural flood management measures such as rain gardens to store and slow the flow of water.



When will the scheme be completed

A number of surveys are currently being undertaken by both the Environment Agency and Cornwall Council across the area. These include environmental surveys to check for protected species.



Where can I find out more?

You can keep up to date on the project at


  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Academics
  • Environment Agency customers


  • Flood management
  • Coastal management
  • Water quality
  • Habitats and wildlife