Durants Park latest to gain wetlands habitat

Durants Park in Enfield Highway
Durants Park in Enfield Highway

Council approves wetlands plan for Enfield Highway green space, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A wetlands area will be created at Durants Park to reduce the risk of flooding and boost biodiversity.

The council-led scheme is designed to protect properties in surrounding roads in an area deemed to be at high risk of flooding. Councillors gave the go-ahead to the project during a meeting of the planning committee this week.

It will involve creating three wetland ‘cells’ covering an area of 1,300 square metres in the south-eastern corner of the park, to absorb surface water run-off. Seven new trees, wildflower meadows and a footpath linking Alma Road to Exeter Estate are among the other benefits of the scheme.

Planning officer James Clark told councillors: “The site itself is high risk. The surrounding roads are peppered with areas that are highly liable to flood. With climate change and more storms, more variance of weather, these sorts of projects are needed even more.

“Having storage on this site will protect areas that are even more at risk of more generic floods from rivers and lakes.

“The wetlands will create modest biodiversity improvements, which are far superior to what are there currently.”

The council received only one objection to the scheme from a local resident, who warned of the presence of Japanese knotweed on the site. Councillors agreed to add a condition to the application to ensure the plant is removed as part of the project.

The wetlands project at Durants Park is one of several similar schemes designed to cut the risk of flooding in the borough. In 2018, the council secured more than £1million to create wetland areas at Broomfield Park, Town Park and Albany Park, with the latter currently being constructed and the other two already complete.

A wetlands project at Firs Farm Open Space in Winchmore Hill was opened in 2017, while another at Prince of Wales Open Space in Enfield Lock opened in 2018.