The Environment Agency’s initial interpretation of AFC Wimbledon/Galliard Homes plans for Plough Lane is pretty damning, leaving no doubt that the scheme is inadequate in terms of flood planning and therefore, as it stands, unacceptable.
The stadium and residential development fails to comply on the following three major grounds:
- national planning policy
- adequate flood plain compensation
- surface water drainage strategy
The Agency’s submission to Merton Borough Council makes it clear: ‘We have reviewed the Environmental Statement… and object to this application. We require additional information to demonstrate how the proposed development will not increase flood risk on site or to surrounding areas.’
The entire site is a high risk flood zone, where development can only be permitted if certain measures are taken to alleviate risk. According to experts at the Environment Agency, the Plough Lane plans fail because developers do not:
- demonstrate sufficient flood storage compensation is available
- demonstrate that surface water can be managed
- demonstrate no increase in flood risk in the surrounding area
- address the opportunities presented by this development for reducing flood risk
And this is despite liaison between the flood risk consultant for the scheme and officials at the Environment.
AFC Wimbledon says it can rectify all these issues. Good. Shame their ‘experts’ couldn’t get it right first time round, but it is reassuring that the Environment Agency is doing its job.
Next, perhaps the club and its property developer pals could try and fill in the gaps on their inadequate transport statement. As the submission from Transport for London to Merton states : ‘No detailed assessment of matchday traffic impact has been carried out as part of the application.’
Which seems a bit odd, since matchdays are when the biggest impact on traffic (motor, public and pedestrian) is inevitably going to be felt. Come on, team AFCW, you can do better than this.