Skip to main content

Flood Control

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which local flood protection and prevention schemes, for which cost benefit analysis has been undertaken, were cancelled or postponed in each of the last five years; and what the reasons for cancellation and postponement were in each case. (147543)

Operating authorities (OAs), that is, the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards, are required to produce annual Medium Term Plans (MTPs) setting out their proposed flood protection and prevention schemes for the following three years. Each project will include some form of cost benefit analysis and this will form part of the calculation of the priority score for the scheme. A fully detailed cost benefit analysis is only likely to have been undertaken when a scheme comes forward for final approval either internally in the Environment Agency or, historically, by DEFRA.

MTPs contain a mixture of schemes, some are well advanced and ready to proceed and others are in the early stages of design. There are many more schemes awaiting funding than are able to be afforded in any one year. The list of schemes in the MTP will be added to as new ones are identified by OAs and may displace others with lower priority scores. There are many schemes in the MTP for which a need can be defined but which have a very low priority score. These are unlikely to receive funding for many years, if at all, but are nevertheless promoted by the OA. These should not be regarded as “cancelled or postponed” because they have never received funding approval and, for this reason, the information is not available in the form requested.