Friday, 5 October 2007

Environment Agency blocks Cranleigh Court kickabout area

Yate Town Councillors check out
plans for the kickabout area

In a shock move the Environment Agency has blocked plans for youngsters in Cranleigh Court to have a kickabout area on the school sports field.

Local youngsters asked their local councillors, Mike Drew and Ian Blair for a kickabout area. Both schools agreed to release part of their land – in a win-win deal, where the school would use the surfaced kickabout area during the day and local young people could use it out of school hours. Residents backed it. Cllr Martin Monk, who lives within sight of the scheme, took the proposal to a TV competition – and only just missed out on raising the money through a major TV contest where viewers voted for which scheme to fund.

Yate Town Council then managed to raise the money – so it was full steam ahead to get it built. The last bit of bureaucracy it seemed was getting planning consent.

But now in a shock move the Environment Agency has lodged a blocking objection. They say

“The applicant has therefore failed to demonstrate that the flood risks resulting from this development can be safely managed. During a flood event it is unlikely the site will remain operational and safe".

"The proposed fence poses a possibility of the obstruction of flow caused by racking up of material against the fence.”

Cllr Chris Willmore commented “This is bonkers. Of course it won’t be used if there is a flood. All the scheme proposes is a surfaced area for football and basketball, with a fence round it, on the school field".

"There is a fence there already right round the field. If any fence is going to catch debris and obstruct flow of flood water it’s the fence that runs right along the school field between this site and the river bank. Are they going to insist the current fencing right round the field should be removed?”

The Environment Agency has suggested their concerns could be allayed if the new fencing was removable.

Chris Willmore added “This would add hugely to the cost. I seriously think they have simply completely misunderstood the plan. If they haven’t they’re taking a sledgehammer to crack a walnut”

Yate Town Councillors have called for an urgent meeting with the Environment Agency to remove, what they hope, will be the final obstacle to giving local youngsters what they asked for.

No comments:

Post a comment