Policy 7.28 Restoration of the Blue Ribbon Network
A Development proposals should restore and enhance the Blue Ribbon Network by:
a taking opportunities to open culverts and naturalise river channels
b increasing habitat value. Development which reduces biodiversity should be refused
c preventing development and structures into the water space unless it serves a water related purpose (see paragraph 7.84).
d protecting the value of the foreshore of the Thames and tidal rivers
e resisting the impounding of rivers
f protecting the open character of the Blue Ribbon Network.
B Within LDFs boroughs should identify any parts of the Blue Ribbon Network where particular biodiversity improvements will be sought, having reference to the London River Restoration Action Plan (see paragraph 7.86).
7.85 London’s rivers have been hugely altered from their natural state.This has generally had the effect of reducing their value to wildlife, and often amenity too (see also policies 2.18 and 7.19). Ultimately this has resulted in the complete loss of rivers such as the Fleet, Tyburn or Effra which now form part of the city’s sewerage network. This cannot be allowed to continue and a strong policy direction is needed to reverse previous unsustainable alterations. The improvement of waterbodies to ‘good ecological/potential’ and not allowing any deterioration in the status of water bodies are key requirements of the Water Framework Directive (see Policy 5.14). In particular, pollution from vessels should also be minimised.
7.86 A partnership led by the Environment Agency has produced a River Restoration Action Plan. This database sets out the location of opportunities to restore and enhance the Blue Ribbon Network. Some of these will be implemented through capital projects and some through nearby redevelopments. The database is reviewed regularly and interactively invites suggestions for further restoration projects