Coney Street transformation: Environment Agency raises flooding fears
Ambitious plans to transform Coney Street and reconnect it with the river have run into opposition from the Environment Agency.
The Helmsley Group has submitted a planning application for its Coney Street Riverside scheme, which would see Boots demolished, new student accommodation built, and a river walkway created.
Now the Environment Agency has given its response, and they “recommend that planning permission is refused”.
The agency says Coney Street lies within flood zone 3, which has a high probability of flooding from rivers.
“The application is for mixed use development which includes commercial/ business uses and student accommodation, which is considered to be a ‘more vulnerable’ land use,” writes Aaron Miles, a planning advisor for the agency.
“In the absence of an acceptable Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) we object to this application and recommend that planning permission is refused.
“No details have been provided with respect to the proposed flood storage and how it will be managed.
“As this is a full application, we expect to see full details regarding this to be provided in order to demonstrate that it is both feasible and achievable.”
The document goes on to outline how the developers could overcome their objections. It would require the retention of a ‘functional floodplain’ to the rear of the development, and flood storage.
Max Reeves, development director at Helmsley Group, said: “Both a detailed flood risk assessment and drainage information have been submitted as part of our planning application and set out how the proposals will not increase flood risk through the inclusion of a raised external deck that will permit flood waters to pass beneath.
“The proposals will ensure a 30% improvement in existing surface water discharge rates, and additional measures to reduce flood risk, such as finished floor levels, have been designed into the scheme, alongside careful consideration of the ongoing effects of climate change.
“The Environment Agency has asked for clarification on some technical details, and we are working with them to ensure they have any additional information they require.”