King Athelstan Recreation Ground: 11 cubic metres

There are a number of routes by which council decisions are made. Officers make decisions, hopefully based on the greater good. Councillors are lobbied by residents, which can lead to powerful but not necessarily good results. In past years, several London boroughs have requested  that I undertake bat surveys at the council's expense; perhaps because one member of the public has commented that an area is too dark at night and additional lighting should be installed.

The council then look at the survey results and recommendations,  weigh them against their current policies as well as legislation pertaining to biodiversity and priority species; and make a decision that the case has or has not been proven. 

I am not sure what processes have lead to the decision regarding the new vehicular and pedestrian route around the perimeter of  King Athelstan recreation ground along Villiers Road; but they do not seem to be matched against any of the policies.

Neither do they recognise the councils documents on Strategic Flood Risk Assessment; exacerbated flood risk as demonstrated by the Environment Agencies Flood Map (which shows that this is in the highest risk area for flooding, see below), British Standard: Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction BS5837: 2012 pertaining to heavy vehicles on the root plates of trees and the root protection zone, the desirability of permeable surfaces, the needs of biodiversity, the urban heat island effect etc. etc.

What is more confusing is that there are ten operatives working for Cappagh; on this project for  two  weeks so far, complete with two caravans and heavy plant (but no tree protection). This is a massive investment, requiring ongoing maintenance.

uncapped syringes
By contrast take a look at the nearby public footpath along Hogsmill Lane, where the riverbank is completely overgrown, strewn with litter encouraging drug use and consequent syringes.


see also posts: -urbanisation-and-loss-of verges in the borough and rainscapes-in-lb-enfield

Ironically, a development proposal for a site almost opposite the recreation ground, at 40 Villiers Road, was subject to a planning appeal APP/Z5630/W/16/3165508 (May 2017). The planning inspector did not like the loss of 11 cubic metres from the storage capacity of the floodplain. He said,

'Detailed information has not been provided in terms of how the development would compensate for the 11 cubic metres loss in floodplain storage. Consequently, I do not have adequate information to demonstrate that the proposal would not increase flood risk off site through a loss of flood storage. Finally, I do not consider that in flood risk terms the application has been the subject of a robust sequential test.

Hence, I cannot be certain that it would not be possible for the development to be located in an area with a lower probability of flooding. For the above reasons, I conclude that I do not have enough information to demonstrate that the proposal would not give rise to unacceptable flood risks. Therefore, the development would not accord with the flood risk aims of the National Planning Policy Framework, the National Planning Practice Guidance, Policy DM4 of the CS and Policy 5.12 of the London Plan 2016.


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