6/8/08 – Dorcan Brook Flood Storage Area update
Local residents will be pleased to hear that the Environment Agency have removed the top grill in the Dorcan Brook Flood Storage Area, and they have agreed to talk to Swindon Borough Council (SBC) and the developers of the Eastern Development Area (EDA) about the complete removal of the site and what mitigation has to be implemented.
While it has taken 12 months since the July 07 Flooding to get this far, this is a real step forward.
Below is a response from the Environment Agency which has been sent to Cllr Dale Heenan, and some local residents.
Completed action – Removal of the Screen
We have removed the top half of the screen to allow more flow through the culvert. This is only possible because we have used updated guidance on the use of trash screens, the safety of unprotected culverts and the likelihood of blockages inside the culvert. We have assessed the situation and concluded that removing the top screen will not increase the risk of blockages within the culvert. However, removal of the screen would increase the risk of injury to anyone on the site, our own operators or public who may find their way onto the site. Because of this we will be making other improvements to mitigate against the safety risk.
Further action – removal of the Flood Storage Area
We were asked to remove the Flood Storage Area (FSA) completely by removing the structure and the damming effect it has on the brook. This will be looked at once the effect of the screen removal has been assessed, as it may not be necessary.
To remove the FSA completely would contradict our current planning guidelines (PPS25) by deliberately increasing the flood risk downstream. If a developer were to suggest the same thing we would object. We need to consider the impact on the properties downstream which would see greater flows in the brook after a rainstorm.
We would need to discuss the proposals with Swindon Borough Council (SBC) and the developers of the Eastern Development Area (EDA). Removal of the FSA would have an impact on the plans of the EDA as it would require compensation works downstream of Wanborough Road within the EDA.
We are not the owners or responsible authority for the Wanborough Road or the culvert that crosses the Dorcan Brook. The issue of culvert replacement will require agreement and funding by SBC.
Removal of the Dorcan FSA and replacement of the culvert will be brought up in discussions with the EDA developers and SBC planners.