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Flood Control: Essex

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Scot Wilson Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Mid Essex and Colchester will be published; and what the reasons are for the time taken to publish it. (180712)

The strategic flood risk assessment (SFRA) work undertaken by Scott Wilson was split into two phases. Phase 1 successfully completed in November 2006, with Phase 2 involving the delivery of the individual SFRA chapters to suit local development framework (LDF) timetables. This is a joint piece of work commissioned by Chelmsford, Colchester, Maldon and Braintree local planning authorities to help inform their emerging LDFs.

A number of factors led to the delay in publication of this study. In August 2007, the Environment Agency requested that the scope of the study be changed to take into account new guidance in planning policy statement 25 ‘Development and Flood Risk’ and the accompanying practice manual to take account of the possible impacts of climate change for river systems, such as the incidence of higher density rainfall. This required the engagement of additional consultants to undertake reruns of the fluvial models, which took further time. However, undertaking this further work means that the final SFRA aims to comply with most recent Government guidance and provide the most up to date information in relation to flooding that also includes consideration of the potential impacts of climate change.