The Standard reported last week on the destruction of trees at Brickhouse Farm, Maldon by Essex County Council (ECC) in advance of the proposed construction of a flood detention basin.

The Defra Policy Statement on Flood and Coastal Resilience Partnership Funding says that “detailed appraisal documents prepared by all risk management authorities will be readily available to those who wish to see them”.

I therefore requested, under the Environmental Information Regulations, a copy of the appraisal document for ECC’s proposals for a detention basin at Brick House Farm, Maldon, along with their business case prepared for submission to the Environment Agency.

ECC has refused this request on the grounds that the documentation falls within the exception within the regulations relating to “Information in the course of completion, unfinished documents and incomplete data”.

I trust that, in completing the business case, ECC will address fully the Environment Agency guidance that the “Business case should include a record of stakeholder engagement.

In particular it should highlight the concerns, needs and expectations of those affected by the decision and how they have been taken into account in the final decision.

It should also state what the current support and opposition are for the proposal”.

It would be of interest to learn what replacement of the felled trees ECC proposes to undertake if the Environment Agency’s National Project Assurance Service decide that the project does not justify grant aid.

Peter Wynn

Wordsworth Avenue, Maldon