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Flood Control: Essex

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the Environment Agency to publish the (a) Blackwater and Colne Estuary Management Plan and (b) Crouch and Roach Estuary Management Plan. (154414)

Subject to approval, the Environment Agency expects to publish the Blackwater and Colne Estuary Strategy in the summer of 2009.

The Agency submitted the Roach and Crouch Estuary Strategy to DEFRA in 2006. This was acknowledged, although not formally approved, in May 2007 as representing the right long term approach and “framework for action” for both these estuaries.

The Strategy is a public document and has been approved by the Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood Defence Committee and the Environment Agency Board. The Agency is progressing work on the ground in accordance with the Roach and Crouch Strategy and will bring the Strategy in line with the new DEFRA guidance when it is next reviewed in four years time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the condition of sea defences in Maldon district. (154416)

DEFRA has overall policy responsibility for flood and coastal erosion risk management in England, funds most of the Environment Agency’s flood related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities and internal drainage boards. The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities; DEFRA does not carry out works, nor direct the authorities on which specific projects to undertake.

The sea defences in Maldon district are inspected annually by the Environment Agency. The last inspection was in late September and October 2006. This year’s inspections will begin shortly. The findings are used to plan and prioritise refurbishment work for future years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many properties in (a) Maldon district and (b) Chelmsford borough are located in areas at one in 200 year risk of flooding. (154412)

The Environment Agency estimates that the number of properties located in areas with a one in 200 annual probability of tidal flooding is as follows:


Number of properties at risk

Maldon district