Lake flood defence plan to protect high risk homes in Highams Park revealed

Trees to be cut down, a car park removed and a flood protection wall built

Trees to be cut down, a car park removed and a flood protection wall built

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

Detaiiled plans to protect homes with new flood defences at a lake have been revealed, but there is still no agreement on how boats will access the water from a historic boathouse on the site.

The £1.8 million scheme to replace outdated defences at Highams Park Lake while retaining the Michael Mallinson Scouts Centre, which is used by hundreds of young people, is still awaiting approval.

Landowner City of London Corporation presented a scheme to replace outdated defences which render nearby homes at high risk of flooding, at a meeting last night.

But it emerged that there is currently no clear understanding of how boats used by scouts will access the lake.

Under the proposal the existing dam will be reinforced by embedding a textile underneath the soil and grass behind a footpath to contain overflow and prevent erosion which could cause flooding.

A small car park will be removed to make the changes and replaced with grass and shrubs.

The boathouse was initially threatened by the need for the work, but a plan to retain it involves building a 1.2m wall.

However, the scouts are still in the dark on how boats can be transported directly to the landing stage.

Ian Handley, of Waltham Forest South Scouts District, said he is working closely with the corporation to find a solution.

He added: "Idealistically there was no other alternative for us. If the boathouse was destroyed, we would have found it incredibly hard to get planning permission for a new build on forest land and would have needed £400,000 to fund it.

"At the moment there is no understanding of how the boats will access the water but we are working with planners to find a solution."

Senior engineer Benjamin Rostaing also claimed there was no viable alternative to the plan.

He said: "The current car park is small as it is and with the dam enforcement works, it would encroach into the car park so much so there would be no space to manoveaure.

"A new footpath has been designed along the outskirts of the entrance to the lake and by having a car park will space for a maximum of two cars, visitors will cut across the spillway section causing erosion and defeating the object."

During the works, 12 trees situated on the spillway will be cut down and the same number planted nearby.

Waltham Forest Council is yet to approve the proposal, but the Environment Agency insist the work must start by April 8.

Comments (3)

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11:34am Tue 25 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

Looks like an ill thought plan that will cost thousands of pounds to achieve nothing, the loss of trees,loss of valuable parking total disruption and no guarantee that it will work. Who will be accountable if it is all a mess? Please put up your hands now. Alright taking the money but how about some display of responsibility and accepting the buck and pledging not to pass it?
Looks like an ill thought plan that will cost thousands of pounds to achieve nothing, the loss of trees,loss of valuable parking total disruption and no guarantee that it will work. Who will be accountable if it is all a mess? Please put up your hands now. Alright taking the money but how about some display of responsibility and accepting the buck and pledging not to pass it? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -16

12:53pm Tue 25 Feb 14

mdj says...

' If the boathouse was destroyed, we would have found it incredibly hard to get planning permission for a new build on forest land and would have needed £400,000 to fund it. '

Could a new one not simply be a pontoon on the lake itself?
' If the boathouse was destroyed, we would have found it incredibly hard to get planning permission for a new build on forest land and would have needed £400,000 to fund it. ' Could a new one not simply be a pontoon on the lake itself? mdj
  • Score: -2

9:38pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Villagecranberry says...

I love walking my dogs around this water as it is a little bit more unspoilt than Hooolow Ponds and has less ice cream vans, pit ball terroir hoodies, bikes, picnic eating town dwellers who leave their rubbish and dog doo doo black bags and rogue plimsoles dangling from the trees. It has gone down hill recently but any money spent should be pointed in the right direction and have accountability.
I love walking my dogs around this water as it is a little bit more unspoilt than Hooolow Ponds and has less ice cream vans, pit ball terroir hoodies, bikes, picnic eating town dwellers who leave their rubbish and dog doo doo black bags and rogue plimsoles dangling from the trees. It has gone down hill recently but any money spent should be pointed in the right direction and have accountability. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -14

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