South Chingford flood mitigation And wildlife habitat improvement project

23 July 2021
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The South Chingford Flood Mitigation and Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project is split over three open spaces in the South Chingford area – Rolls Sports Ground, Memorial Park and Larkswood Playing Field. These projects have been developed to reduce the risk of flooding to people and property. The project will completely remove 64 properties from flood risk due to a storm event which has a 5% chance of occurring each year, and will remove 72 properties from a storm event, which has a 1% chance of occurring each year. Another 821 properties will also receive a reduction in flood risk. Over the design life (100 years), the works are predicted to reduce flood risk damage by £5.1 million. To implement the works, the project has been awarded significant funding by the government Flood Defence Grant in Aid programme with supplementary funding from the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Larkswood Playing Field

In the north west corner of the park a Bund (a mound of earth planted with wildflowers) approximately 0.8metres in height and a Detention Basin (a lowered area of land designed to retain water in flood events) is proposed to be developed, which combined with the Wetland Basin to be provided at Memorial Park would store over 5000 cubic metres of water in a major storm event. The Bund will store water which flows off the hill, storing and slowly releasing it thereby protecting properties in Larkswood Road (and properties downstream of Memorial Park). Water will only be present in wet periods with the area being predominately dry or damp for the majority of the time. A wildflower meadow, trees and shrub planting are proposed to be developed in this area to improve the amenity and ecological value.

The opportunities which have been identified at this site include:

  • Reduction of flood risk to houses in the surrounding area 
  • A new amenity area, replacing grassland with a new wildflower meadow increasing biodiversity and creating a new community facility

Further details can be accessed in the link below:

Larkswood Leaflet

Memorial Park

In the western corner of the park, a bund of approximately 0.8 to 1metre in height is proposed to be developed. To increase the flood storage in this location a small wetland will be developed by shallow excavation into the ground to the north east of the bund. In combination, these two features will store, together with the detention basin feature at Larkswood 5000 cubic metres of water in a major storm event. These proposed works will reduce flood risk to properties in Hampton, Burnham, Sinclair and Westward Roads. A wetland is proposed to be created at the lowest point of the excavated area. This wetland will be designed to improve wildlife and water quality in the Ching Brook (where this water ends up). A range of wildlife and amenity features are also being considered including enhanced biodiversity, informal footpaths and play spaces/features. It’s known that the park suffers from waterlogging, however, these works are not designed to resolve this. The program does offer the potential for the impacts of the waterlogging to be reduced should sufficient funding be found in future. It is important to note that flooding to the park cannot be prevented (this would displace the flood water into people’s homes), however, the proposals being developed will help to manage the flooding.

The opportunities that have been identified at this site include:

  • Reduction in flood risk to nearby properties
  • Removal of amenity grassland to create new wildlife habitats including a new wetland created including potential educational and amenity features
  • Incidental play features were created to enable interaction with the new habitats

Further details can be accessed in the link below:

Memorial Park Leaflet

Rolls Sports Ground

The Rolls Sports Ground design is currently subject to further feasibility and site investigations due to complex nature of the project at this location. We have also identified that the most convenient time to commence construction for this site is in the Spring, therefore due to this and the ongoing design development, construction is anticipated to commence in the Spring of 2022.

Engagement

We held two drop-in sessions in July 2021 in both Larks Wood and Memorial Park to provide an opportunity for the local community to talk to the project team and provide feedback.

A copy of the engagement analysis report can be found in the link below:

Engagement Analysis Report

Construction

Construction work for both Larks Wood and Memorial Park will be commencing simultaneously in Autumn 2021. The initial earth works are anticipated to take up to approximately three to four months to complete, which will be followed by planting and landscaping that will be programmed at various dates throughout the various planting seasons. The planting and landscaping works may continue up until Spring 2022.

As outlined above, construction work on Rolls Sports Ground is anticipated to commence in approximately Spring 2022.

Further construction information will be posted to all properties in the near vicinity of the construction work prior to commencement

For further information please contact: