The Three Elms development west of the city centre is proving to be controversial.

Over 200 objections to the scheme have been posted on the council’s planning portal. Concerns about the choice of the Yazor Brook flood plain for this development are being expressed.

The local major employer, Heineken, is insisting that a handover environmental management plan be supplied to all contractors, and that long-term commitments to aftercare be secured.

Sun Valley (now Avara) describe safety and security risks associated with what they call a ‘significant residential population traversing the Special Protection Zones’.

The developers propose a mitigation plan ostensibly to deal with contamination.

There would be emergency booms, spill pads and absorbent materials on site.

There would be bans on the use of pesticides and herbicides; each household would be supplied with a cautionary ‘Occupier Education’ pack; signage would be erected highlighting the sensitivity of the setting.

How realistic is it to suggest these mitigation measures would be effective?

The measures are being drawn up because the risk of water source contamination is real.

Just look at recent examples of flooding west of the city.

Should there be a complete re-think of the plans for the Three Elms development?

Victoria Wegg-Prosser