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Flood Control

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the regional spatial strategies will take account of the (a) effects on the costs of future flood defences of the effects of climate change and (b) the costs of flood defences on the long-term sustainability of development; and if she will make a statement. (125623)

The Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) provides the long term spatial planning framework for a region for a 15 to 20 year period, with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development. In considering climate change and the long term sustainability of development, the costs of flood defences are taken into account alongside other matters, including the availability of resources.

We have recently consulted on a draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) ‘Planning and Climate Change’. This sets out our proposals on how planning should contribute to stabilising climate change and take into account the unavoidable consequences. Regional Planning Bodies will be expected to prepare and deliver RSSs for their regions that secure new development and shape places resilient to the effects of climate change in ways consistent with social cohesion and inclusion. These RSSs should be informed by sustainability appraisals which integrate social, environmental and economic considerations from the start of the plan-making process.

Regions will be expected to consider their vulnerability to climate change; the desirability of avoiding new development in those areas with likely increased vulnerability to climate change, particularly where it is not viable to manage likely risks through suitable measures to provide resilience; and, bring forward adaptation options for existing development in likely vulnerable areas.

The draft PPS builds on our policies in PPS25 ‘Development and Flood Risk’ which sets out the detailed considerations applicable to taking flood risk into account in determining strategic planning considerations in the RSS for a region.