On the border between Kingsway and Tuffley is Daniels Brook. In 2007 this flooded (as did much of Gloucester) and flooded a lot of the gardens of the houses in Bodium Avenue. The Environment Agency has been working on the Brook to ensure it is more able to cope with the water run off and drainage requirements. We knew this work was going to happen in some form, but what we were not prepared for was the devastation it would cause to so many of the trees and habitats that exist along there.
In the Citizen, there is an article today featuring Cllr Steve Morgan who is “delighted” with the work. He obviously has not decided to venture over to Kingsway and see it from our perspective. The Environment Agency were tasked with full consultation to ensure that residents were aware and in agreement with the plans, but they obviously decided that they could not be bothered because many of the directly affected Kingsway residents have been left shocked and aghast at what was a very attractive edge of the estate, is now a barren wasteland as the Environment agency has rode roughshod and ripped out pretty much every tree it can see. At the recent Kingsway Association AGM, residents highlighted the lack of communication and the rather excessive approach that has been taken, since then it has only got worse.
Don’t get me wrong, some action had to happen, because I believe that a lot of the issues were caused by the neglecting of the brook by the agency responsible, and therefore a serious cleaning up task was required, and some deepening required, but not the whole-scale destruction of the entire area for the sake of the freak event in 2007 (according to the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology).
As a bit of a pacifier, the Environment Agency will be replacing “some” trees, but this will not be happening until the back-end of 2012, even though they could be doing this right now (The ideal planing time for trees is the winter as they are mainly dormant). I personally think the action they have taken is so over the top and destructive, it makes a mockery of the name of the agency.
If only they had consulted properly and this could have all been highlighted and worked out, but it seems that they work in a little bubble of their own, regardless of who is affected.