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Car park extension dropped from Stratford Riverside Project

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ONE of the most controversial elements of the Riverside Project – the extension of Fisherman’s car park – has been dropped from the current plans.

The Riverside area and Fishermans Car Park from above. Photo: Craig Allen. (53099636)
The Riverside area and Fishermans Car Park from above. Photo: Craig Allen. (53099636)

Opponents of the scheme had from the beginning questioned the need to extend the car park on the edge of Stratford and stressed that the area often flooded in winter.

Stratford District Council and Stratford Town Trust, who are behind the plans, reduced the number of proposed spaces at the site off Warwick Road – from 500 to about 75 – following concerns from members of the public.

However, the entire car park extension was last week dropped – at least temporarily – from the plans following concerns raised by the Environment Agency. It had objected to the Riverside Project planning application on the grounds the majority of the car park extension was in a flood zone and, under planning rules updated in July of this year, was not permitted.

The car park has now vanished from the scheme, which is set to go before the district council’s planning committee on Wednesday, 24th November.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The Environment Agency has now accepted the flood model and have withdrawn its objection.

“They have also considered the water contamination issues and are satisfied that ‘this redevelopment is not considered to present a significant risk to groundwater receptors’.

“They have also confirmed that they have no further requirements for site investigation in respect of groundwater.”

The spokesperson added that the extension to the car park “may be reconsidered at a future time, but it is no longer part of this application.”

The Riverside Project still faces a number of objections - about 90 were submitted to the district council by groups and individuals. Many focus on concerns about contamination risks from the former tip site, human intrusion into areas used by wildlife, and a management plan for the area, which should be given Local Nature Reserve status.

Reaction and more detail in this week's Herald.

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