I had a meeting with Kim Allen (Head of Planning and Development SMBC) today. I had previously informed Cheswick Green Parish Council of my meeting and Kim kindly allowed representatives from them to attend as well. Joining me was Len Creswell and Mike Cooper.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the development of the site at Mount Dairy Farm, the flood attenuation required and the construction itself.
Bloor’s (developers) now have access to the site and are preparing compound works and a spinal roadway. It is anticipated the main works for Phase 1 of the development will beginning in the middle of next month.
All conditions appertaining to the site pre-commencement of development have been met and discharged (these were set at the planning committee meeting in September 2015). These specifically include Tree removal, Flood risk attenuation and Drainage. Some have been part-discharged but it is clear developers can access the site and begin phase one of the development (as identified in the planning decision notice – 2015/51811 refers): PL_2015_51811_PPRM-DECISION_NOTICE_MAJOR_RM_APPROVAL-472007
It is important to note that full flood risk measures will be determined once the calculation of surface discharge (from new properties) has been made in respect of Phase 2 development. In a nutshell, the depth of the swales and ponds will be determined by how much water is expected to discharge from new properties (eg. because of hard standing drives etc).
It is fair to state that many thought, or had been told, that work would not begin until all the flood works had ben completed. This is not accurate – the reference was to the identification of flood risk measures to be taken and these have now been agreed.
It is also important to note that developers can not access the site fully and deal with the flood risk issues by the brook until the power lines have been diverted (to go underground). This does not require planning permission by the utility company.
I am informed that Bloor’s valued the photographs of flooding in past years, taken by residents and the parish council, have helped secure even greater protection and more stringent flood risk measures. I have taken photographs of three very large plans produced at the meeting. The photographs are shown to help explain but the originals have been handed to the parish council and will be displayed in the village centre.
Flood risk measures will include the lowering of the bank of Mount Brook on the side of the development, meaning that when it does flood the water will flow to the Marshy Grassland and Wet Grassland – as shown on the plans. Swales and ponds (depth to be determined) will be connected by a pipe line, with the first pond (to the north of the site) filling up first and then flowing into subsequent ponds/swales.
We await details to be submitted for Phase 2 of the development. However, although drainage solutions will be established the full measures will not be known until the surface drainage for this phase is known (depth needed for ponds and swales as mentioned above).Without the approval of the Environment Agency (EA) the full sign-off of plans will not be made and all conditions have been discharged. I am informed that Bloor’s risk assessment measures is more challenging than was accepted by the EA modelling in 2013; this, I am informed, has a lot to do with the persuasiveness of objections and the photographic evidence mentioned previously.
We discussed the state of the highway, especially around the Tanworth Lane and Lady Lane triangle. Construction management conditions formed part of the planning authorisation and this includes wheel washing and mud on the roads.
Mr David Wigfield is the identified council enforcement officer as a point of contact in the first instance. However, once construction begins there will be an identified liaison person on site who will be the point of contact between residents, the parish council and borough council.