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The Eton Road car park saga - Environment Agency negligence?

EA submits planning application 10/01690 for three plots in Eton Road (Sept 2010)

The Eton Road car park adjacent to the Jubilee River has been an eyesore and unresolved problem ever since the Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation Scheme was completed in 2002.

The site lies within the Parish of Datchet and is owned by the Environment Agency.

The site has suffered from both unauthorised caravans and significant fly-tipping, and a risk assessment on this site would discover a multitude of hazards.

The following set of images records how the area looked on 22 May 2010.

Below is the view of the land as approached from Datchet village.

These are some of the concrete blocks placed to inhibit caravans.

This is the access hole cut through the hedge to facilitate rubbish disposal.

Just look at all this rubbish

The Environment Agency has now agreed to properly defend the site (August 2010) by means of a ditch and bund.

Please follow link below to see RBWM planning application number 10/01690


This is what I think about the EA planning application:


I write to make the following observations in respect of planning application 10/01690– changes to land at Eton Road, Datchet adjacent to the Thames Water Pumping Station.

I believe that this land was acquired by the Environment Agency using Compulsory Purchase powers in the mid-1990’s.  The land was needed as part of the MWEFAS project (completed in 2002 and now called the Jubilee River) construction site.

This land has been neglected by the Environment Agency since 2002 and is a continuous source of nuisance due to caravan incursions and consequent fly-tipping.  Half-hearted attempts at defending this land have failed and left a repeated eyesore while the public purse has covered the cumulative legal and clean-up costs.

I support any improvements in this area and after eight years view this as an opportunity to do the right job right so here are my comments:

1)  This application fails to disclose that the existing car parking spaces are to be extinguished.  In my opinion these spaces are well used and should be retained, but they will need defending by means of a (lockable?) overhead barrier.

2)  The application covers only that land owned by the EA and fails to cover the whole site.  This leaves one adjoining area and one nearby area undefended and liable to further nuisance.  This issue requires consideration at this stage in order to achieve an effective, unified and ‘whole’ solution.

3)  Bearing in mind that the lorry loads of fly-tipped rubbish between the hedge and the fence have yet to be cleared and the hedge then re-instated, the continuous earth bunds illustrated in the application fail to facilitate access to the individual land parcels for maintenance purposes.

4) I simply fail understand why the 3 tonne stone blocks adjacent to the footpath are specified?

5) This road is extremely dangerous for both pedestrians and road users. There should be a planting scheme included with the application for proper consideration and then conditions attached to any permission that ensures the maintenance of all sight lines in perpetuity.

6)  Finally I feel that the construction of earth bunds in this particular area (which has a high probability of flooding) will interrupt overland flood flows and the ditches will add to the hidden hazards during the flood event.

Yours faithfully

Ewan Larcombe 7/9/2010

67 Lawn Close, Datchet SL3 9LA. Tel. 01753 544302

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