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GREEN LIGHT: Plans approved to re-align and restore the River Gade in Hemel Hempstead

 Published on: 18th February 2023   |   By: Megan Milstead   |   Category: Uncategorized

Dacorum Borough Council has approved plans to re-align and restore the River Gade in Gadebridge Park, which is one of very few chalk streams that exist.

The Environmental submitted the plans which were approved on January 26, provided they meet 13 conditions.

In the report, the applicant said the Gade “fails” to meet the ‘good’ status required by the Water Framework Directive due to “poor historical river management practices” and “over abstraction”.

They plan to partially realign the Gade and to create a new sinuous river channel downstream. The plans would include a new concrete weir and for the EA gauging station to be relocated. Two new pedestrian bridges would also be provided.

A spokesperson for Dacorum Borough Council said: “The application to re-align the River Gade was granted planning permission at the Council’s Planning Committee on 26 January. The proposed works strike an appropriate balance between meeting the outdoor recreational needs of the residents of Hemel Hempstead and the functions of Gadebridge Park and the need for environmental and ecological improvements to the River Gade.

“We look forward to working with the Environment Agency in securing further details on landscaping, contamination, archaeology and ecology to ensure that this development delivers these benefits whilst mitigating any potential harms”.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Chalk streams like the River Gade face a number of challenges, from pollution and poor wildlife habitats to too much water taken out by industry, a practice known as abstraction. Their future depends on action from water companies, farmers and landowners, as well as government and regulators.

“Our improvements to the Gade, working with Affinity Water and Dacorum Borough Council, include restoring the river to a more natural state to help chalk stream plants, brown trout and insects flourish. We also want to build new footpaths and a bridge to help people better enjoy the surroundings.”

Read the plan here:

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