Oakwood Park in line for wetlands scheme

Planning permission granted for another Enfield Council project designed to reduce flood risk, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

How the wetlands scheme in Oakwood Park is expected to look when complete
How the wetlands scheme in Oakwood Park is expected to look when complete (credit Enfield Council)

Another new wetlands project set to be created in a west Enfield park will help prevent flooding in the east of the borough.

The Enfield Council-led scheme in Oakwood Park, Oakwood, will capture surface water runoff in a series of wetland basins and help protect homes on lower-lying ground in Edmonton.

Councillors approved the scheme at a meeting of the planning committee on Tuesday. The decision will add to the growing list of wetland schemes across Enfield, with similar council-led projects recently completed at Firs Farm in Winchmore Hill, Broomfield Park in Palmers Green and Albany Park in Enfield Wash, with another also planned at Durants Park in Enfield Highway.

The Oakwood Park wetlands scheme will cover 11.5 hectares in the eastern part of the park, which is currently occupied by grassland and trees. It will not affect the tennis courts, playground and other recreational facilities in the western end of the park.

Planning officer Gideon Whittingham told the meeting the application site and surrounding area had a medium risk of surface-water flooding, with the most recent flooding taking place in February 2000. He said the wetlands would treat surface water runoff and create flood storage for “extreme events”.

Gideon added: “There will be enhancements to the recreational value of the open space by providing a number of amenity features, and also providing opportunities for local people and visitors to reconnect with their open space, community wetlands and local rivers.”

The wetlands scheme will create a new wildlife habitat and areas of wildflower and native scrub planting. Although five trees in the park will be cut down to make way for the wetlands, at least 40 will be planted as part of the project.

Gideon told the meeting the scheme would not harm the nearby Highlands Conservation Area or the “wider setting of the Grade 2 listed park and garden”.

In response to questioning from councillors, Dominic Millen, the council’s group leader for traffic and transportation, said a plan would be drawn up to minimise the disruption caused to local residents by construction vehicles. Gideon said the maintenance of the wetlands had been accounted for as part of the scheme’s budget.

Members of the committee voted unanimously to approve the wetlands project.