The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) leads on land use planning policy. DEFRA funds the Environment Agency (EA) to advise planning authorities on development proposals to ensure flood risk is properly taken into account.
The new Planning Policy Statement on Development and Flood Risk, PPS25, was published by DCLG in December 2006. This clearly sets out how local planning authorities should prevent and manage flood risk to and from new developments to ensure that, where new development is necessary in flood risk areas, it is appropriate and safe, does not increase flood risk elsewhere ;and where possible, reduces flood risk overall.
It is the responsibility of the planning authority to ensure that flood risk is taken properly into account when planning new development. In the case of Milton Keynes, I understand the planning authority will undertake a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment in consultation with the EA. At the planning application stage, PPS25 requires appropriate site specific Flood Risk Assessments to be provided by developers to describe how flood risk will be managed in detail. I understand the EA is confident that a well-established strategic approach is being applied to future development in Milton Keynes, which is not considered to be a significant flood risk area.