Biodiversity and flooding concerns of Chorlton resident

Manchester City Council have submitted a plan (ref. 129948/VO/2021) to ‘improve’ the sporting facilities at Hough End. Planned changes include:

– Erection of a two-storey extension to form sports field changing rooms,

– Cafe facilities, flexible club/social/training rooms and gym space following the demolition of the existing building on site,

– Formation of 3G football artificial turf pitches and associated floodlighting and fencing together with associated 67no.car park and an additional 100 space overflow car park.

I live on Brookburn Road, in Chorlton, and Chorlton Brook is at the bottom of my garden. One evening, last January, I and my neighbours were warned by the Environment Agency, via the Police, that we might have to evacuate due to flooding. After a prolonged period of rain, I have never seen the Brook – or the Mersey that it drains into – so high. Parts of Didsbury and Northenden were actually flooded.

Now Red Lion Brook, at Hough End is, in fact, the top end of Chorlton Brook. Adding more hard/impermeable surfaces (a car park and 3G pitches) to part of this watershed is bad enough but the plan is to drain those surfaces into the Brook!

Among the documents included with the plan is a Flood Risk and Drainage Assessment. Paragraph 5.3.4 of this document reads as follows:

“ … it is proposed that the surface water will outfall into the existing private surface water system on site which discharges into the Red Lion Brook.”

I maintain that this plan is both reckless and grossly irresponsible – especially as heavy rainfall events appear to be becoming more frequent as a result of climate change. Hundreds of homes, businesses, and even lives, up and down the Mersey Valley, will be put at increased risk from flooding just for the convenience of a few amateur sports enthusiasts!

Apart from the increased flood risk, is the fact that 3G pitches are constructed of plastic and rubber ‘crumb’ and a significant proportion of this is likely end up in the watercourse too – thus adding further to the burden of plastics in the environment.

I propose to object to the Hough End plan through the planning portal. I will also be objecting on threats to biodiversity and loss of public open space grounds.

Apparently, councillors in Chorlton Park and Withington support this plan. True to form, they obviously think that environmental considerations are trivial and beneath them That’s if they’ve even considered them at all!

Best Regards,

Dave Bishop

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