Fury over Southend Airport’s plan to concrete over flood plain
One of the world’s oldest golf clubs will fear for its future if plans to expand Southend Airport are given the green light.
The airport wants to increase the number of businesses in its surrounding area, including building a medical technology centre that would employ 4,000 people. However, the area the airport hopes to expand into includes a flood plain, which would be concreted over.
Nearby Rochford Hundred Golf Club, which was founded in 1893, fears this would increase the risk of flooding to the course, making it both uninsurable and unplayable.
Neil Wells, golf club secretary, said: “It appears from the proposals a very large hangar and hard standings are planned for construction close to the boundary of the golf course.
“The entire proposed site is shown within the plan as being located within the flood zone and it would seem inevitable that further, regular, serious flooding would interrupt play at the course.”
He added that protection of the course and surrounding land from flooding had not been properly considered.
Jon Fuller, coordinator of South East Essex Friends of the Earth, added: “Local residents and businesses will be affected by concreting over such a large area of the flood plain.
“The risk of flooding will put off many insurers from covering properties in the area.”
A spokesman for Southend Airport said that any proposal for development of the land would be accompanied by a flood risk assessment and advice from the Environment Agency. A spokesman for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council added that he was confident that any plan would address the issue of flooding.