Rising at Molehill Green in Essex, the River Roding passes through the Wanstead and Woodford area en route to the Thames, bringing with it a very real flood risk to local homes. In the sixth of a series of articles charting the River Roding Project – which aims to reduce that risk – Laura Hepworth from the Environment Agency reflects on the project’s recent community events. River image by Anna MacLaughlin
Since the last edition, the River Roding Project Outline Business Case has been approved, which means we are now working to produce detailed designs. We are aiming to apply for planning permission by spring 2020. We have also submitted a bid for funding to the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, and should hear if we are through to the next stage early next year.
During October, we were busy hosting local events, which took place on Ilford High Road and outside Woodford Station. At these community events, we raised awareness of the local flood risk and shared information on the proposed environmental enhancements in Redbridge. It was a great opportunity for residents to provide their thoughts and highlight further improvements they would want to see along the Roding.
The proposed local enhancements include:
- Improving wildlife habitats and fish migration, reconnecting a backwater near Roding Lane South and removing a weir by Roding Hospital.
- Improving user experience with new information boards and signs along the Roding Valley.
- Reducing noise, light and air pollution by planting trees and hedgerows near Charlie Brown’s Roundabout and along the M11 corridor.
- An off-road cycling route between Snakes Lane East and Broadmead Church.
Across both events we had a really good turnout and spoke to nearly 100 members of the community, including local residents, groups and businesses. We received lots useful feedback about the project and ideas of how we can improve future engagement events.
It was important talking to several local residents who suffered from the 2000 floods to hear first-hand how difficult it was to recover. They were pleased to see the project proposals, which outline how we plan to reduce flood risk in the local area.
Many residents highlighted that the cycle paths were an important benefit of the project and felt these improvements will provide extra access for the community. In particular, one resident commented that the enhancements will protect the environment and make it more accessible for the public to enjoy.
Nearly 5,000 homes are at risk of flooding across the borough of Redbridge, so make sure you are as prepared as possible this winter and check the flood risk for your own home or business.