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Flood Defences

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of London’s flood defences in protecting South East London. (75821)

The Environment Agency is the main operating authority for flood risk management in England. The tidal defences that currently protect South East London and most of the Thames Estuary are of a very high standard, and an estimated £200 million will be spent on their maintenance and operation until 2021. The Agency is also developing a long-term management plan for the Thames Estuary to tackle flood risks until 2100.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the evidential basis was for the recent alterations to the published flood risk maps for Willington, Derbyshire; what representations the Environment Agency received from (a) owners of the former Willington power station site and (b) their representatives prior to the changes being made; what account was taken of (i) the Trent Fluvial Strategy studies and (ii) planning proposals for the area when the changes were being prepared; and whether the changes have been reflected in the system for the communication to village residents of risk to their properties. (75970)

The Environment Agency had discussions with consultants acting on behalf of the developer about Willington power station from June 2004 until February 2006. The consultants were required to address flood risk issues in a comprehensive Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) of the site.

The findings of the consultants’ FRA work were in line with the recommendations of the Trent Fluvial Strategy, which was published by the Environment Agency in March 2005.

The FRA was submitted as part of the outline planning application and was considered during our assessment of the proposals. The FRA considered all sources of risk to the site in question.

The changes have been reflected in the way in which the Environment Agency have communicated with the residents of Willington over risk to their properties.