Don’t be depressed by the changeable weather. It gives you good reason to keep a check on the forecasts from weather women such as Lucy from ITV.
By Nick Kempe
After my report on floods and flood prevention within our National Parks (see here), which included a brief postscript on Balloch in response to a reader’s comment, I have been sent more photos of flooding on the Old Luss Road, which runs under the Woodbank House part of the proposed Flamingo Land development.
The updated Design Statement Flamingo Land submitted with their revised Planning Application in April gave no indication there were any potential issues with flooding here:
Flamingo Land’s proposal for Woodbank House appears to be that the additional water run-off caused by the development – each time you build a house or a road it removes ground which could absorb rainfall or water draining from higher ground – should be discharged into existing water courses. As the photos show, these clearly do not have capacity to deal with existing water run-off.
In terms of the current box ticking approach to planning, there is nothing for the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority to worry about.
However, as Flamingo Land claims Scottish Water is supportive of their approach and Scottish Water in their response to the application on 30th April (see here) said they had NO objection to the application.
However, the SMALL print says something rather different.
“For reasons of sustainability and to protect our customers from potential future sewer flooding, Scottish Water will not accept any surface water connections into our combined sewer system”.
So, where is all the extra surface water draining from Woodbank going to go? Flamingo Land needs to explain this in a way that everyone can understand.
While Scottish Water states it has sufficient capacity in principle to supply water to the development from its Alexandria Water Treatment works, it cannot confirm whether there is sufficient capacity to treat foul water at the Ardoch Waste Water Treatment works and has asked for BOTH a Water Impact Assessment and a Drainage Impact Assessment.
Its not clear from the Planning Portal if Flamingo Land has completed these assessments but without them, and without Scottish Water’s response, its impossible to determine whether the development can be serviced or not.
Why the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority believe they are in a position to take a decision on the planning application before they are clear whether it can be supported by existing local infrastructure is not clear. Perhaps officers are going to recommend its refused because of a lack of adequate plans?
Local resident, Kenny Gibson, summed up the concerns about drainage and the Woodbank House part of the development in the objection he lodged in May:
“While my initial reaction was that Woodbank House was the least controversial part of the planning application, I now believe the lack of adequate plans for drainage coupled with the propensity of the area below it to flood are sufficient in themselves for the LLTNPA to reject the application for planning permission in principle.
“This is NOT sustainable economic development and the LLTNPA should have adopted a precautionary approach long ago.
Flooding at the Stoneymollan Round about near Balloch on the A82. Picture by Heather Scott Pick