IMPROVED measures proposed by Welsh Water to deal with potential flooding in a Chester suburb have led to protests from conservation groups.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England and Chester Civic Trust say the scheme, put forward on land adjacent to Countess Way in the Bache Brook site of nature conservation value, will have a detrimental effect on the green landscape close to the roundabout at the junction of Countess Way and Liverpool Road.

They also believe there is insufficient information about an acceptable replacement landscaping scheme.

Welsh Water has told planning officers at the City Council it is seeking approval for work on the heavily overgrown area which contains a number of trees, none of which are protected.

Some have been planted at an earlier stage to provide screening.

The existing hardstanding allows access to Welsh Water equipment used to deal with potential flooding as a result of heavy rainfall, according to a report.

The company says it wishes to increase the capacity of the sewer network at that location.

The access and hardstanding would be improved and a control kiosk erected which requires the removal of a number of trees and shrubs.

The land is in Chester's Green Belt, planning officers accept but argue there will be environmental and health benefits as the development will reduce the chance of untreated wastewater spilling into the adjacent brook.

These outweigh the harm to the Green Belt, they suggest and amount to very special circumstances.

Although a large area of trees would be removed, Welsh Water has confirmed a landscaping scheme is to be carried out, councillors are due to hear.

Recommending the application should be approved, planning officers say there will be no detrimental effects on neighbouring properties and the scheme would not harm the character of Chester's Green Network.

The project is due to be considered at a meeting of Chester's planning board taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the city centre on Wednesday (January 28) at 10.30am.