4 Oct 2009

Water Forum meeting condemns development on Foxes Field

Last week the Stroud Valley's Water Forum met - I enclose our press release below that went out today regarding Foxes Field.

Photos: Some of the Forum members with David Drew MP and Anthony Perry from the EA - below Water 21's Adam Broadhead talks Mr Perry through some of the plans

We also discussed much else - like the Core Strategy - we are hoping that Stroud District Council will include our thoughts in the Core Strategy re for example areas being designated for flooding. There was an update of various projects - local to us we hope the Puckshole grill and culvert clearance will happen within the month.

We also heard lots from Anthony Perry, the Environment Agency's Area Flood Risk Manager. This was very useful and has given me much food for thought to take away and consider re funding, national indicators, student placements and more. The Forum hopes to meet again on 11th November 2009. Anyway it's late now so I'll just leave you with the press release...

A Forum of flood action groups is hailing as a success a face to face meeting with the Environment Agency.

The Stroud Valleys Water Forum, which includes members from Ruscombe, Bridgend, Slad and Painswick action groups, met Anthony Perry, the Area Flood Risk Manager from the Environment Agency last week at Ebley Mill, to discuss flooding in the 5 valleys. It was chaired by Tim Davies who said “we feel it was a very positive meeting and that the Environment Agency understood our problems. We were also delighted that our local MP David Drew could join us, he’s taken a real interest in our plight.”

Discussions focused on the financial aid and advice the Environment Agency can offer to action groups and local councils.

“It opened our eyes to the help available” said Mr Davies “but we do wonder why SDC has seemed reluctant to approach the EA for funds in recent years”

But the Forum was united in its opposition to the planned development at Foxes Field, between Stonehouse and Ebley, saying that SDC appears to have excluded the potential for increased flooding when it objected to the scheme for the second time. The Forum believes that SDC is not taking flood issues fully into consideration in its planning decisions, and has pledged to keep flooding at the centre of local decision making.

Philip Booth, a member of the forum said: "The forum agreed that the proposed development at Foxes Field is a grave mistake. It's the only green bit left between Stroud and Stonehouse. Developers have not properly considered the implications of their proposals on flooding downstream. One of the key reasons behind this flood forum and our meeting with the EA is to develop a proper catchment-wide approach to flooding. Too often our approach adds to problems elsewhere."

Adam Broadhead of Water 21 added "Flood and water management is a cultural problem. It is time to move away from the mentality of coping with water, and instead towards realising it as a resource."

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