Agenda and draft minutes

Salmons Brook Flood Alleviation Works Planning Panel, Planning Panel - Monday, 9th July, 2012 7.00 pm

Venue: Highlands Secondary School, 148 Worlds End Lane, London, N21 1QQ

Contact: Jane Creer 020 8379 4093 Email: jane.creer@enfield.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

OPENING

(i)         Purpose of the meeting

 

(ii)        Introduction of Applicant’s representatives and Officers of the Council.

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.   Councillor Delman as Chairman welcomed all attendees to the meeting and introduced the Panel Members, the applicant’s representatives and Council officers.

 

2.   The purpose of the meeting was to provide local residents and other interested parties the opportunity to ask questions about the application and for the applicants, officers and Panel Members to listen to all the comments.

 

3.   A decision on the application would be made by the full Planning Committee at a future date.

2.

OFFICERS' SUMMARY OF THE PLANNING ISSUES

The site

 

This application concerns the entire course of Salmons Brook, which runs through the Borough from its source at Enfield Chase, to its confluence with Pymmes Brook (and thence the River Lea), on the south side of the North Circular Road.  Residential properties and businesses have been the subject of flooding from Salmons Brook on a number of occasions, causing disruption and material damage to property.  This scheme would alleviate the flooding by proposing the following physical work at three locations along the course of the Brook:

 

1                    Enfield Golf Course, along its southern boundary with the Cheyne Walk Open Space and Allotments, and to the north-east of residential properties in Grange Park, N21.

 

2                    Montagu Road, Edmonton,

(i)         along part of Salmons Brook Walk, between Plevna Road and Montagu Road,

(ii)               through part of the Montagu Recreation Ground,

(iii)             along part of Cemetery Walk, (to the south of the cemetery).

 

3                    Bury Street West, this will involve river improvement works at Bury Lodge but this is for environmental benefit not for flood risk reduction. 

 

The proposal

 

The proposals include a combination of flood storage and improved water-conveyance.  Flood waters would be stored upstream at Enfield Golf Course through the creation of a grassed embankment across Salmons Brook to allow more flood water to be stored temporarily on the existing floodplain during flood events, reducing flows downstream.  The embankment and area for temporary storage of water at the Golf Course will occupy approximately 15.6 hectares, mostly on the Golf Course but partly on the Cheyne Walk Open Space.

 

The scheme also includes raised riverside flood defences (low walls and embankments) along Salmons Brook between Plevna Road and Montagu Road that will reduce the frequency the brook bursts its banks in this location.  Additional improvements to the culvert would also take place under Montagu Road to reduce the risk of blockages to the Brook and the Recreation Ground will have a new grassed embankment so that it can temporarily store more water on the existing floodplain (as at the Golf Course).  The combined area of the Salmons Walk and Montagu Recreation Ground sites is approximately 8.5 hectares.

 

The proposed scheme would involve sustained period of construction works lasting up to 12 months at the Golf Course and 18 months at locations around Salmons Walk and Montagu Recreation Ground.  Haulage routes would utilise local road networks are the main routes are summarised as follows:

 

  • Enfield Golf Course: A110 westbound through Enfield Town Centre, turning south onto Bincote Road, then along Worlds End Lane, Green Dragon Lane. Cadogan Gardens and Vera Avenue, to access the site via Uplands Way;

 

  • Salmons Walk: North Circular Road then A1010 Fore Street turning right into Plevna Road to site;

 

  • Montagu Recreation Ground and the eastern end of Salmons Walk: A406(T) North Circular eastbound then B137 (Montagu Road) to site.

 

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.   Aled Richards, Head of Development Management, advised that a printed summary of the proposals had been left on each chair.

 

2.   The application had been submitted over a month ago. Over 1200 local properties had been consulted directly, mainly along the construction traffic routes and adjoining the sites. The plan provided showed the extent of the consultation letters sent. Notices had also been put up on sites. To date, 30 letters of objection had been received.

 

3.   Comments made at this meeting would be noted, and the Environment Agency would also be working on further consultation.

 

4.   Most of the concerns raised so far related to pedestrian access to sites, noise and disturbance, potential damage from construction vehicles and loss of use of Enfield Golf Course and Cheyne Walk Open Space.

 

5.   Comments received from statutory consultees so far were summarised:

?  Ecology officers had raised concerns in respect of the biodiversity assessment which dated from 2008, and had requested another survey. This would have to be carried out between July and September so would affect the progress of the application which would not be able to be presented to Planning Committee until October at the earliest.

?  The Conservation Advisory Group had no objections and felt that the merits of the scheme outweighed any adverse impacts on Conservation Areas.

?  The Friends of Bury Lodge Park had raised concerns about implications for children’s safety and wildlife.

?  Grange Park Residents’ Association had raised concerns about site noise, emissions, HGV movements, and site access.

?  Highlands School had raised concerns about levels and routes of site traffic and the health and safety of pedestrians walking to school.

?  McMullen brewers had raised concerns around the Jolly Farmers pub site.

?  Thames Water had raised no objections, but required additional information in relation to Deephams sewage works.

?  Transport for London had no objections.

?  National Grid Electricity Network had no objections.

?  Western Enfield Residents’ Association had raised concerns about flood risk to properties and damage to roads in its area.

 

6.   The main planning implications to be considered were traffic issues, access to sites during construction, extent and duration of construction works, construction noise and disturbance to neighbouring amenity, and flood risk to properties adjoining the flood storage areas.

 

7.   Updated plans were displayed at the rear of the hall.

 

8.   The consultation period finished on 23 July, but Enfield Council took a pragmatic approach and would welcome written comments right up to the date of the Planning Committee, which was likely to be in late October.

3.

PRESENTATION BY THE APPLICANT / AGENT

Minutes:

NOTED

 

1.   Steve Whipp, Senior User – Client, Environment Agency, introduced the project members present and gave an illustrated presentation on the proposal, including:

a.  In 2000 there was severe flooding in Edmonton when 192 properties were flooded internally and some people were not able to return to their homes for over a year. This was a quite rare event, but the impact was severe.

b.  The objectives of the scheme were a significant improvement to flooding risk, improvements to the environment, and achievement of a benefit – cost ratio of over 6. Maps were available of the benefit areas.

c.  The main elements of the scheme were described:

      ?  Enfield Golf Course would be used for temporary storage of flood water. For the vast majority of the time the course would be unaffected. The design was environmentally sensitive to minimise loss of trees. The structure would be safe to operate and be as simple as possible. The routes over the embankment would also tie in with the greenway path. There would be no change in flood risk upstream of the golf course.

      ?  The aim in the Montagu Road area was to stop water going into houses and through the cemeteries. A new culvert would smooth the flow. Water would be contained at Montagu Road Recreation Ground.

      ?  Artist’s impressions had been produced of how sites would look after the scheme.

d.  Proposed routes for construction access to the sites were set out. Concerns were acknowledged about the route to Enfield Golf Course and vehicles would avoid peak times and school arrival and leaving times. Salmons Walk only had entrances from Plevna Road and Montagu Road; a compound would be established on the recreation ground. At Bury Street West there would be fairly minimal works for about 3 weeks, accessed through the existing Council depot.

e.  Access to the public had been taken into account at all sites.

?  The full 18 holes would be playable at Enfield Golf Course with a temporary tee at a slightly shortened 9th hole.

?  At Cheyne Walk there would be pedestrian access at all times to the allotments and open space with a segregated pedestrian route so people would be safe, and vehicular access at evenings and weekends and in special circumstances by arrangement.

?  At Barnabas Court there would be pedestrian and vehicular access to the sheltered housing at all times and there would be a vehicle marshall on that entrance.

?  Salmons Walk was a constrained site and to protect members of the public access could not be allowed during the works, but an alternative route would be signed, and post scheme there would be improvements.

?  At Montagu Road, access to current play areas, community centre and sports field would be maintained during the works and the minimum space possible would be occupied on the recreation ground. Temporary traffic lights would be required while the culvert was constructed on the edge of Montagu Road.

?  The site at Bury Street West was currently closed to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

QUESTIONS BY PANEL MEMBERS

Minutes:

NOTED the following questions and observations from Members of the Panel:

 

1.   Councillor Delman asked about the possibilities of diverting water from Salmons Brook to the New River or Pymmes Brook earlier to remove the need to store water; or if there must be water storage could it be held elsewhere? It was advised that potential diversion culverts had been considered, but were very expensive because of their length and not practical. Use of the New River also risked contamination of the water supply. If Pymmes Brook and Salmons Brook were running full, the New River as a man-made channel had a limited capacity to accept flood water. The same applied for Sadlers Mill Stream. The main policy document for all flood alleviation schemes was called ‘Making Space for Water’ and the aim was for storage and attenuation on a natural flood plain.

 

2.   Councillor Constantinides mentioned the positive suggestions made during consultation, especially by Enfield Golf Club members and asked whether any ideas had been taken up. He also asked about the overall project timing. It was confirmed that there had been previous consultation and exhibitions and it had been tried as far as practicable to incorporate previous consultations. The first part of the project to be finished would be Enfield Golf Course, then Montagu Recreation Ground and finally Salmons Walk.

 

3.   In response to Councillor Hurer’s queries, it was advised that normal working hours defined as acceptable were 8:00am to 6.00pm and that construction hours would be written into the contract and would be agreed with the Local Authority. HGV movements would be avoided at school hours. Discussions had been held with the Golf Club regarding alleviation of more frequent flooding and making the course more playable than at the moment post scheme. In an extreme event the intention was to inundate the golf course to protect other areas.

 

4.   Councillor Ekechi asked about minimisation of disturbance and noise and the hours of construction work. It was advised that early in the morning and late in the evening, contractors would be just setting up and finishing. While work was progressing there would be liaison with local communities and collection of feedback. There were statutory limits on noise and vibration. There would also be a Section 106 Agreement with further constraints which the applicant would be bound by.

 

5.   In response to Councillor Keazor’s queries regarding the total timescale for the scheme, it was confirmed that the works at Enfield Golf Club would be likely to take just over a year, and works at Salmons Walk and Montagu Road around one and a half years. There were two sets of allotments near the scheme. A beneficial side effect would be that allotments at Cheyne Walk would flood less frequently and at Salmons Walk the allotments would receive protection from the wall along Salmons Walk.

5.

QUESTIONS BY WARD COUNCILLORS

Minutes:

NOTED the following questions and observations from Ward Councillors:

 

1.   Councillor Glynis Vince, Grange Ward Councillor, questioned whether any benefits would be brought to Grange and Highlands wards. On 9 and 11 June there had been flooding in parts of those wards, especially at the golf course / Cheyne Walk / Slades Rise areas, but not in Edmonton.

 

      It was advised that the recent flooding had a chance of occurring at any time from river water escaping when the water was high, but there were no homes in that flood plain. In Edmonton, flooding to people’s homes could be expected in 1 in 20 years. The consequences on open spaces were a lot less: within days they could be used again and there was no permanent impact. The whole scheme would cost just over £15 million.

 

      Councillor Vince understood there could be 40 traffic movements a day, and 54,000 tonnes of clay to be moved, and she asked whether the condition of residential properties had been surveyed.

 

      It was advised that the busiest time during construction would be when bringing in materials for the embankment when there would be up to 40 vehicle movements a day in total in and out. Outside that busy period there would be a lot less movements. 54,000 tonnes of clay was the total for the whole project, and the golf club site would involve about half that amount. Potential for property damage was very low risk: previous experience in Uxbridge had shown that such traffic did not cause structural damage. Surveys were proposed just before the start of construction, so were not done yet.

 

      Councillor Vince remained concerned that the roads involved in this project were narrower, and that even outside school run times, Worlds End Lane and Bincote Road had a constant flow of traffic.

 

2.   Councillor Jon Kaye, Highlands Ward Councillor, highlighted that flooding occurred often 3 or 4 times a year in the Links Side / Slades Rise / Taunton Drive vicinity. He considered that the residents in these roads would not be helped and any flood alleviation scheme should be more comprehensive.

 

      It was advised that there could be multiple sources of flooding, including from drains and roads, not just from the river running full. In low frequency events this scheme would alleviate flooding to these properties. This scheme was designed to mitigate against a single event such as happened in 2000. In such an event the works at the golf club would deal with the flow more quickly.

 

3.   Councillor Neville, Grange Ward Councillor, questioned the proven need for the scheme at this time. There had been major repair costs after the event in 2000, and work done then may have contributed to flooding not recurring in the years that followed or during recent rainfall.

 

      It was advised that in an event on the scale of that in 2000, flooding would still have occurred without a larger scheme in place. Comparison should be made with a situation similar  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

OPEN SESSION - QUESTIONS AND VIEWS FROM THE FLOOR

Minutes:

NOTED the following comments and questions were received from local residents and other interested parties:

 

1.   The headteacher of Highlands School clarified that an objection had been raised by Highlands, Merryhills and Grange Park schools combined in respect of the volume of traffic, and about the quality of the documentation as there was no summary of the project in clear language and no easily-understandable map. He questioned why the vehicle route from the A10 had to approach Green Dragon Lane via Bincote Road and Worlds End Lane, passing three schools. Highlands School in particular had students in the sixth form who came and went throughout the day. He considered that temporary changes to traffic islands in Green Lanes would be a cost worth bearing to avoid these schools. These roads were difficult to negotiate at the quietest times and heavy lorries would cause chaos.

 

      It was advised that the traffic routes had been carefully considered and the route chosen was the best, least-intrusive option. On busier roads, the increase in traffic would be less obvious.

 

2.   Other residents also expressed their concern about the large numbers of children who used the local roads to go to and from school and the heavy lorry use of those roads.

 

3.   In response to a resident’s queries about potential alternatives including a reservoir elsewhere, it was advised that it was best to store flood water as close as possible to the area to be benefited. Between this location and Edmonton, there were very few green spaces, and they had other uses, and the best choice was this natural flood plain.

 

4.   A resident raised particular concerns about the current condition of Cadogan Gardens roadway and likely severe damage resulting from construction vehicles, and that heavy lorries would exacerbate the frequent flooding experienced due to broken water pipes in Worlds End Lane, Green Dragon Lane and Eversley Park Road.

 

5.   The Enfield Golf Club Chairman considered that the scheme would jeopardise the survival of the club, and had concerns about the design of the scheme. The Chairman of the Panel recommended that detailed concerns be sent to Development Control Team in writing.

 

6.   A local resident highlighted recent flooding on 9 and 11 June when gardens were flooded, sewage came up through manhole covers and residents had been unable to use toilets for a night, and that Thames Water must also be involved in the decision.

 

7.   A resident who had previously worked as a Flood Defence Manager offered the opinion that use of the New River could be a potential alternative. He also highlighted the importance of maintenance and proactive management of water courses and culverts and questioned what maintenance had been carried out following the flooding in 2000. In respect of the flume construction at Enfield Golf Course, earth banks in flood conditions generated large amounts of silt, and he considered there was a need for a mechanical structure there. He requested a deferral of the planning decision  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

CLOSE OF MEETING

Minutes:

NOTED the closing points, including:

 

1.   The Head of Development Management advised that any further comments should be sent to the Council’s Planning Department, and would be received up until the date of the Planning Committee meeting to which the application would be presented for decision.

 

2.      It was not expected that the application would be presented to a Planning Committee meeting until October 2012 at the earliest, as an ecology assessment needed to be carried out. It was expected that a special meeting of the Planning Committee would be convened at a large venue because of the level of public interest in this application.

 

3.   Notes taken at this meeting would be appended to the Planning Officers’ report to be considered by the Planning Committee.

 

4.   Full details of the application were available from the Council’s website www.enfield.gov.uk (Application Ref P12-01082PLA).

 

5.   The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the Planning Panel meeting. The Chairman suggested to the Environment Agency that they should consider producing alternative schemes with costs so that the public is convinced that the proposed scheme is the only viable one.