29 May Supporting Water Framework Directive Assessment for Strategic Barking Riverside Development

Any large development has the potential to cause a deterioration in the hydrological and ecological status of nearby water bodies, but equally good design can prevent this and also offers the opportunity to improve water bodies.


Barking Riverside_Image source TfL

Barking Riverside Masterplan (Image source TfL)

Due to the size of the proposed Barking Riverside development and its proximity to the River Thames and other sensitive water courses, such as the Goresbrook, ESI, now part of Stantec, were commissioned to undertake a Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment. The aim was to identify potential risks and opportunities associated with the development and its requirement to restore and improve existing infrastructure, such as the former jetty and existing flood defences, together with a commitment to improving biodiversity and sustainable drainage.

The WFD assessment looked at the local catchments of the Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne and Tidal River Thames. These catchments have key objectives which encourage the use of sustainable drainage systems and manage potential flood risks using natural processes, which also seeks to promote interaction with residents by providing better recreational access and enhancing habitats, particularly inter-tidal.

As part of the assessment, designs and studies undertaken for the wider Barking Riverside Development were reviewed in the context of the WFD criteria. This identified opportunities already included within the proposed scheme and areas of potential concern which may be amended in support of the criteria. The wider catchments were also reviewed together with previous off-site schemes and improvement works which may benefit the quality and biodiversity of the overall area if such measures could not be included as part of the development.

The results of the assessment, review of the wider studies and design tweaks concluded that the proposed development was delivering significant improvements to the identified catchments, including the creation of new inter-tidal habitats along the River Thames frontage. The assessment included recommendations relating to the proposed new flood defences, their construction and set-back, which are being considered within the overall development masterplan.

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