Wye Ruin It?

Wye Ruin It?

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Update from our geological and geographical expert research team

Herefordshire Council's Flood Risk Management Strategy will, apparently, be finalised on the 28th of September. 

We believe that the Herefordshire Council’s Flood Risk Strategy is totally inadequate

Is it any wonder that project costs escalate so much under public sector management?

How can Herefordshire Council propose and execute major developments in its Core Strategy without detailed analysis of the site hydro-geology West of Hereford? This site is particularly complex hosting the ancient river bed gravels of the Wye before the last ice age, the Yazor brook and numerous temporal spring lines.  Water flows need to be monitored above and below ground during full seasonal variance to determine the risks and potential mitigation of effects during peak flows. Detailed survey and analyses would enable a thorough risk assessment of Core Strategy proposals before engineering designs are commissioned and negate cost overruns.

In particular, the developments' impacts on sealing soils over substantial areas in proximity to surface and underground water courses, damming temporal springs, the resulting seasonal flooding and contamination of sub surface water.  

A countywide British Geological Survey mapping update was commissioned last year by Herefordshire Council. However, this was a mineral resource update for waste management planning, rather than a hydro-geology analysis of the proposed areas.  This is most relevant to waste management not regional road and housing development.

If this was the private sector, investors would be looking for fatal flaws as part of risk analysis before investment. We see no evidence of detailed flood risk analysis, only lip service to procedure. It is in our opinion a glaring omission to exclude any detailed analysis of the hydrogeological conditions west and north of Hereford before proposing a 25% increase in households and three major link road developments.

Patricia Ronan