Flood risk assessment “inadequate”
The environment agency has put in an official objection to the plans for the proposed Bexhill-Hastings link road,
describing the flood risk assessment as “inadequate” and the ecological impact as “unacceptable”.
The proposed road goes right through the Combe Valley flood plain. As we have learned over the summer of 2007, flood plains have a key role in absorbing unusually high levels of rainfall. It was the need to upgrade the road to deal with the potential for flooding that caused the huge cost increase from the original estimate of £42million to the current estimate of £89m.
Environment Agency: “inadequate flood risk assessment”.
Apart from the lack of adequate flood risk assessment, the Environment Agency’s other criticisms include:
“Inadequate consideration of, and mitigation and compensation for, ecological impacts.”
- “The scheme will result in severance of both existing and newly created wetlands, and watercourses, from the Combe Haven SSSI and other wetland habitats. This will prevent migration and transfer of species and reduce the suitability of severed areas for wildlife.”
- “On this large scale the scheme will alter the ecological function of the whole valley.”
Among other criticisms, the Environment Agency points out that in many places the report says that since we don’t know what the environmental impact will be, therefore we will assume it to be very small. (“In several areas the impacts are considered to be unknown and therefore not addressed. For example, the scheme identifies that there would be a risk that increased noise and vehicle emissions may have some influence upon habitats. Although noise impacts have been acknowledged, the lack of understanding regarding noise impacts means that they have not been taken into account or mitigated for. “)