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broomfield park wetlands plan

The project to create a wetlands area in Broomfield Park is to be discussed at the meeting of the Enfield Council Planning Committee on 25 September.

wetlands location

The wetlands site in the SE corner of the "top field"

The proposed scheme is designed to provide the following benefits:

  • Improved surface water quality via replenishment through the creation of wetland treatment cells (the surface water drainage network for this area flows towards Pymmes Brook further downstream);
  • Increased biodiversity by creating habitat for a variety of wildlife;
  • New amenity feature in the park; and
  • Reduce flood risk through the storage of water following extreme rainfall.

An objection was received from the London Park and Garden Trust, who consider that the harm caused to the heritage asset (in this case, the appearence of parkland outside the walled area) would not be outweighed by the benefits, which they consider unproven.  The Enfield Conservation Advisory Group also object to the scheme on the same grounds.

Further serious concerns have been raised by Historic England and in a letter from Colin Younger, chair of the Broomfield House Trust.  These objections and concerns are set out in some detail in the Planning Committee Report.

Despite these objections and concerns, council planning officers are recommending that the scheme be approved.

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Colin Younger's Avatar
Colin Younger posted a reply #4062 20 Sep 2018 12:46
To be clear, I'm not objecting to the scheme. My concern is that an area of one hectare is to be covered to a depth of half a metre with spoil from the excavation, without an prior investigation of that area. What proposed is an archeological watching brief of the excavation area, which is fine, but there's nothing about the area to be buried.
PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #4073 26 Sep 2018 22:44
The planning committee meeting on Tuesday night reportedly refused planning permission for the proposed wetlands scheme in Broomfield Park.

Hopefully, someone who was at the meeting can provide more details...
Colin Younger's Avatar
Colin Younger posted a reply #4078 27 Sep 2018 00:44
I attended the Planning Committee on the 25th September which considered this proposal. Full details of the application can be found on the Planning Committee website.

In addition to the strong concerns raised by Historic England and the Parks and Gardens Trust, Councillors questioned whether there was a flooding risk which the proposal claimed to alleviate. None could recall any past flooding, or see any risk which justified this scheme.

There were also unanswered questions about how the wetland would be maintained: the report noted that this would be beyond the capacity of the Friends of Broomfield Park, and there was no identified Council funding for maintenance.

SUDs schemes in Forty Hall had fallen in to disrepair and were overgrown, and ones in Town Park appeared not to be working properly.

The conclusion was that the scheme was damaging, unnecessary, and not sustainable, and it was therefore rejected.
David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #4188 07 Nov 2018 09:16
Successful at the second time of asking, I understand, last night.
Basil Clarke's Avatar
Basil Clarke posted a reply #4208 14 Nov 2018 23:41

As noted by David above, the Planning Committee reconsidered the application (by the council itself) for the wetlands scheme in Broomfield Park at their meeting on 6th November (where it was the only application on the agenda) and this time approved it.

The initial refusal is recorded in the minutes of the 25th September meeting . Go to item 759.

The minutes aren't yet available for the meeting where the committee did approve the application. But the paperwork for the meeting is available, including a revised report submitted by the Executive Director - Place . The revised report - which, like its predecessor, recommends approval - takes account of a detailed response from the council's planning department to the conclusions of the 25th September meeting. One of the points made is clarification of the attitude of the Friends of Broomfield Park - between the two meetings the Friends wrote to point out that, contrary to the impression given earlier, they had always been in favour of the scheme. They also pointed out that the assertion by the Gardens Trust that the Friends do not have the capacity to help maintain the wetlands was made without discussing the subject with the Friends.

I understand that another reason for the initial rejection was that the danger of flooding in the vicinity of Broomfield Park was seen as insufficiently high. However, it's important to use all available opportunities to create wetlands to slow down and clean the flow of water into the Pymmes Brook because the streams running through the western parts of the borough all flow towards areas of Edmonton where houses are prone to flooding - see the map below.

It is for this reason that the major piece of water engineering was carried out in the Grange Park area a few years ago to store water from the Salmons Brook - to the fury of some local agitators who didn't want to put up with the construction traffic or the risk that their local golf course might be under water for a few days - water which otherwise would be inundating people's houses in Edmonton.