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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Urgent: Bring the Moselle river back to life in Wood Green - one week left to comment

Next Monday, 12th Feb, Haringey Council will ‘consider’ the Haringey Heartlands Planning permission to build hundreds of flats on the site of the old Wood Green gasworks.

Running just beneath the surface is Haringey’s Moselle river which has been culverted for a century.

This development is a huge opportunity to bring the Moselle back to life by opening it up to daylight.  It would add a whole new dimension to the site: increasing biodiversity, creating opportunities for flood prevention downstream, giving people a real connection with their sense of place, and making a green space that is vibrant and truly alive.  And improvements to water quality upstream would have knock-on effects in the East of the borough – helping the clean-up of the river as it flows through Lordship Rec, and to tackle the pollution in the River Lea.

Showing total lack of vision, the developers want to keep the river buried, and are proposing a pathway marking the course of the river.

The developers say 'daylighting' the river is not feasible.  But that’s not true – Thames Water say the water quality is already okay –  and the house drains upstream  that are illegally connected can easily be resolved.  And developers claim the culvert is too deep – but it’s actually just below the surface in some places, and the site could be contoured in others. 

All around the country enlightened authorities are seeing the huge benefits of opening up our hidden rivers.  And key planning guidance also calls for ‘daylighting’.   But Haringey Heartlands developers want to keep the Moselle underground so it can be de-culverted “in the future”.  Who are they trying to kid?? It’s now or never.  If you’d like to see the Moselle brought back to life, please take this opportunity to tell the planning committee what you think by submitting comments here:

http://www.planningservices.haringey.gov.uk/portal/servlets/Applica...

(looks scary but it isn't - just click on the 'comment on application' link)

Please say you ‘Object’ to the proposal, unless de-culverting is incorporated.

Here are some additional points you can make in favour of deculverting:

Contrary to developers claims, this proposal IS feasible, as water quality is already acceptable, and can be improved before construction is completed.  Contouring of the site can accommodate varying culvert depths.

It's now or never.  Failing to open  up the river will be a tremendous missed opportunity.

The Environment agency has stated: We believe there is a great opportunity at the site to deculvert the Moselle Brook and restore the designated ‘main river’ to a more natural state.  Naturalising rivers provides flood risk, water quality, biodiversity and recreational benefits for the area.

Restoring the Moselle river is required by the Thames River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and in line with adopted local plan policy DM28 – the developers should comply with this.

The development should comply with the GLA’s London Plan (currently under consultation), which promotes green infrastructure, sustainable drainage, and river restoration in its policies G1, G5, G6, SI13 and SI17

An excellent source of information is available from the local residents’ association:  www.pmra.co.uk/2017/12/04/saving-the-moselle-brook-if-theres-one-th...

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Done - very easy and took five minutes.  Let's harness the power of HoL for a green outcome!

Done too, thanks for sharing! 

Might be worth re-posting as posts on HoL tend to disappear quite fast.

I wouldn't encourage anyone to duplicate posts. We could end up in a real mess that way! However if there's a particular community issue you want to bring to the fore, drop us a note (preferably on a Thursday!) and if the circumstances are right we'll take a look at featuring it in the weekly update.

Scanned the documents but don't understand the flood risk impact of this. Wouldn't want insurance premiums to be impacted as a result...

hello kotkas - this is a direct quote from the Environment Agency:

Naturalising rivers provides flood risk, water quality, biodiversity and recreational benefits for the area.

If you want to know more, there's a presentation at the Big Green Bookshop tonight at 6pm.

ps. in addition, there was no flood risk identified with deculverting.  the only 'problems' identified wrt the feasability of deculverting were water quality (ridiculous reason - there are 61 properties upstream whose drains are misconnected - this could easily be resolved in 2 years) and depth of existing culvert (again a ridiculous objection - the culvert has already been exposed, and huge additional amounts of soil are due to be excavated).

In fact deculverting is likely to reduce flood risk rather than increase it.

The Planning Committee will deal with this application on Monday. There is only a couple of days to object. I've objected using the following grounds.  

I wish to register an objection to the Haringey Heartlands application to build many hundreds of flats on the site of the old Wood Green gasworks. Haringey’s only river, the Moselle Brook, culverted for the past hundred years, runs through this site.
The basis of my objection is the intention of the developers to continue to keep the Moselle Brook buried. The Moselle Brook is a main river and part of the Thames river basin, flowing into the River Lea and on to the Thames. As it reaches Wood Green, the river is in a culvert just below the surface.
I have recently seen the river as it briefly sees daylight arriving to the development site at the railway embankment. It had a good flow and did not smell.
The developers say 'daylighting' the Moselle is not feasible on the basis of quality of water and the on depth of the culvert.  These are not valid reasons for keeping this unique and valuable community resource hidden.
Thames Water have stated the water quality is already okay. The Moselle Brook is not a drain and Haringey has the legal duty to deal with the illegal ‘misconnections’ that are causing the poor quality. Haringey are making excellent progress on addressing these with its partners in Thames Water and expect the quality to improve significantly in the near future.
The culvert is not that deep and actually just below the surface in some places on the site.  The site can be contoured in other parts of the site with little effort. 
This development is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring the Moselle back to life by opening it up to daylight.  Doing so would increase biodiversity in the Borough and help flood prevention further downstream. It would compensate for the loss of natural habitat that the development will cause. It will lead to improvements in water quality upstream and help the clean-up of the river as it flows through Lordship Rec, and reduce pollution in the River Lea.
Daylighting the Moselle would give Haringey’s local (and future) residents a real connection with their sense of place and history, and, like neighbouring Enfield Council’s Firs Farm Wetlands, it would make a green space that is vibrant and truly alive. 
Key planning guidance calls for ‘daylighting’ of culverted rivers. Haringey Heartlands developers would keep the Moselle underground with an option that it could be de-culverted “in the future” (at no cost to them). This would truly be a case of kicking the issue into the long grass. It will not happen.
The Environment agency has stated “We believe there is a great opportunity at the site to deculvert the Moselle Brook and restore the designated ‘main river’ to a more natural state.  Naturalising rivers provides flood risk, water quality, biodiversity and recreational benefits for the area”.
This great opportunity should not be missed.
The culvert is over 100 years old and in poor condition in parts- it would be better to spend the money needed to repair or rebuild it on restoring it to be a natural water course that the community can benefit from and manage.
Restoring the Moselle river is required by the Thames River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and in line with adopted local plan policy DM28. The developers should comply with this.
The development should comply with the GLA’s London Plan (currently under consultation), which promotes green infrastructure, sustainable drainage, and river restoration in its policies G1, G5, G6, SI13 and SI17.
I object to this proposal unless de-culverting (daylighting) is incorporated into the permission to proceed.

In addition to this worthy cause, the plans themselves are unbelievably unsustainable for the area.

The planning application is deliberately impossible to navigate, and is a hybrid plan, meaning part is full planning and part is outline. The assumption is that if the phase one goes through it's easy to slide the second phase through unnoticed later. The full plan comprises 24 buildings squeezed onto a pretty small plot, with buildings of up to 18 stories towering over the 2 storey Victorian terraces it backs directly onto. Of course we need new housing, but this scale of building is both unsustainable and only available to a minority of Haringey residents because of cost. There are over 1700 flats, and the absolute minimum number of social and affordable homes. It's unprecedented in size, scale, density and height for the area. The highest existing buildings in the area are only 7 storeys and even they don't back directly onto existing housing like this. The scale of the blocks will mean any pockets of land between them will be shadowed and inaccessible, and more likely to be inhabited by drug dealers than wildlife. 

There are 1,2,3 and 4 bed flats planned, meaning somewhere between 4000 and 8000 new residents in that small space, on a single road, which also serves both a primary and secondary school. No new transport links, no new roads (not a bad thing in itself of course). Imagine Wood Green tube station at rush hour with an extra 4000 passengers going to work. No new doctors, dentists, schools, or parks, although 2,3 and 4 bed flats will most likely house families needing all those services, and Ally Pally itself will be overshadowed by these blocks right on the edge, interrupting views both from homes and parks in the area, and also back from the palace across London. Ironic, as the council plans to demolish Victorian housing for the ADP was to improve views of the palace from the high street!

This application bears no relation whatever to the consultation from last year, and local residents are totally in the dark about it because the site is impossible for most people to navigate.

Please, if you haven't objected already, you only have this weekend. Please please do!


http://www.planningservices.haringey.gov.uk/portal/servlets/Plannin...

Oh you think it will be impossible to get on the tube at Wood Green? Try Turnpike Lane and Manor House.

Sarcasm isn't helpful really, but thanks for your comment.
An additional 3000 to 8000 people is going to be impacting all the local transport, not just one station. 

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