Shropshire Star

Flood evacuation plans among list of demands ahead of Shrewsbury shopping centre demolition

Environment bosses have come up with a list of demands ahead of the demolition of a Shrewsbury shopping mall as part of a major town centre redevelopment.

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The Riverside Shopping Centre closed to the public this week after plans were approved for it to be bulldozed to make way for ambitious projects including a new park on the banks of the River Severn.

Now the Environment Agency has submitted a number of conditions it wants Shropshire Council to meet, mainly centred around the flood risk of the site.

The government organisation said: "This site area floods frequently as part of normal winter flood conditions. While demountable flood defences serve the opposite bank of the river, providing protection to Frankwell, the regeneration site is unprotected and the area subject to frequent flooding.

"We advise that a Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan should identify a flood level that will initiate evacuation of people and vehicles, any flood susceptible equipment or vehicles, and any subsequent closure of the site/car park. This trigger level should be when the site is still ‘dry’ i.e. flood-free, to avoid any question of what an acceptable level of flood risk is."

The Environment Agency also call for contamination prevention measures, including detailed geo-technical and hydrogeological assessments and remediation strategies.

"If during development, contamination not previously identified, is found to be present at the site then no further development (unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority) shall be carried out until the developer has obtained written approval from the Local Planning Authority, and submitted a Method Statement for remediation," the organisation said.

"The Method Statement must detail how this unsuspected contamination shall be dealt with. A verification (validation) report demonstrating completion of that set out in the method statement shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority."

It adds: "Piling or any other foundation designs using penetrative methods shall not be permitted other than with the express written consent of the local planning authority, which may be given for those parts of the site where it has been demonstrated that there is no resultant unacceptable risk to groundwater. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details."

The full Environment Agency report as well as other documents and comments can be viewed on the planning application at pa.shropshire.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=S5MDB9TDM6R00