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Flood Defences/Flooding

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to protect the North Norfolk coast from flooding. (100040)

Since 2003, the Environment Agency (EA) have spent over £200 million on flood risk management in East Anglia.

Communities in East Anglia which have benefited from recent Government investment include Hunstanton, Ely Southwold, Kings Lynn and Norwich.

Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) will be reviewed and published before the end of 2008. They will provide long-term, sustainable policies for the coastline.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of people defined as at high risk of flooding under the Environment Agency’s definitions in each of the last 10 years; and what assessment he has made of the trend in this figure. (100301)

The Environment Agency (EA) first produced an indicative floodplain map for the whole of England and Wales in 1999. This indicated that about 1.8 million properties were at risk from flooding from rivers and the sea. The EA has continued to improve its maps, and in October 2004 published a new Flood Map on the internet, which included the flood zones defined in the Department for Communities and Local Government's land use planning policy. Planning Policy Guidance Note 25 defines the “high risk” flood zone as having an annual probability of flooding of 1.0 per cent. (or 1 in 100 in any one year) or greater for river flooding, and 0.5 per cent. (or 1 in 200 for any one year) or greater for tidal and coastal flooding.

There are estimated to be about 1.83 million properties across England and Wales within this definition of a “high risk” flood zone, which equates to approximately 3.5 million people. This figure has not changed significantly over the last 10 years; changes in the figure arise from improvements in the EA’s flood mapping and changes in the land use in these areas.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total value was of flood risk management schemes started in England in each year since 2002-03; and what equivalent figure is forecast for (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07. (100302)

The Environment Agency (EA) is the principal operating authority with responsibility for flood risk in England, and is primarily funded through DEFRA grant in aid.

For information on the amount of DEFRA funding to the EA for flood risk management from 2002-03 to 2005-06 I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 200W.