Opportunity to quiz experts on St Albans River Ver project at meeting

The River Ver running through Cottonmill Lane near Sopwell House. Picture: DANNY LOO

The River Ver running through Cottonmill Lane near Sopwell House. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The community is invited to quiz project leaders about their plans for the River Ver.

The River Ver. Picture: Danny Loo

The River Ver. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Experts from the Environment Agency (EA) and officers from St Albans district council (SADC) will be on hand to answer questions about their Revitalise the RiVer project at a Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee meeting.

The scheme includes plans to instate wetlands around Verulamium Lake and reroute 2.5km of the River Ver via its natural chalk stream.

Although this will cost millions, it will help to solve the long-standing problem of Verulamium Lake’s dirty water.

Narrowing the river path and re-exposing groundwater aquifers should speed up and purify the river flow, which supplies the iconic lake.

Work should start in 2019 and be finished by 2024.

Committee chair, Cllr Anthony Rowlands, said: “This important project has attracted a huge amount of interest and I’m sure people will take advantage of this opportunity to quiz those responsible about the future plans.

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“I welcome any questions that our residents want me to put to the project leaders on their behalf and am sure there will be a wide range of issues raised. It should be an absorbing meeting.”

A number of community groups have been invited to the meeting, including the Ver Valley Society and the Cottonmill and Nunnery Allotment Association - the latter a group which are vocally against the plans because they are being forced to relocate.

EA’s project manager Liam Dennis and SADC’s principal green spaces officer Daniel Flitton are due to address the meeting.

It will take place in the council chamber at St Albans Civic Centre on October 31 from 7pm.

To raise an issue, email scrutiny@stalbans.gov.uk by 12pm on Friday October 26.

It can also be posted to the scrutiny officer at St Albans district council, Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, AL1 3JE.