Duties and Powers to Project Against Flooding

Land Drainage Act 1991 : (LDA)

The duties and powers of local authorities and the Environment Agency are set out in the Land Drainage Act 1991. Local authorities include all levels of councils.

 Local authorities have no duties (except when they are a land owner) for land drainage. Local authorities, along with other public bodies, only have permissive powers to act in certain circumstances, to mitigate the effects of flooding.

 This Council confirmed at its meeting on 17 December 2007:

  • ongoing support for the current service level agreement with Derbyshire County Council's Emergency Planning Division (DCC EPD);
  • supporting the non-statutory work carried out in support of local residents affected by flooding;
  • supporting the community flood fairs designed to encourage self-help within the community; and
  • providing free filled sandbags in line with a Derbyshire-wide policy, based on a suitable assessment of risk.(Minute 2642 refers)

 Land Drains/ Watercourses are divided into Main Rivers and Ordinary Watercourses. Ordinary Watercourses are the responsibility of the riparian land owner. Therefore AVBC would only be responsible for land or property it owned adjacent to a watercourse. Its rights and responsibilities would be as a riparian owner.

 District Councils have permissive powers to ensure that riparian owners discharge their duties under section14 of the Act. County councils can only undertake this task where the district council has asked them to do so or if the district council fails to do so, (following not less than 6 weeks notice) (s16).

If a riparian land owner fails to carryout maintenance on an ordinary watercourse then the local authority can use powers under the Land Drainage Act 1991 to serve notice requiring them to undertake the necessary works. Failure to comply with such a notice may result in the Council undertaking the work and recharging the owner the costs of so doing.

 Section 25 of the Land Drainage Act provides a local authority, which includes a county council with the power to require works for maintaining flow of watercourse (unless the problem is due to mining operations). However under section 26 before exercising this power the local authority shall, according to whether or not the watercourse or part is in an internal drainage district, notify either the drainage board for that district or the Environment Agency.

  This Council unfortunately has insufficient resources to use these powers in all circumstances and must therefore limit its activity to those that represent a significant risk of flooding to residential property.

  County Council's responsibilities as a Highways Authority

As the Highways Authority, Derbyshire County Council has responsibility for all flooding issues affecting County Highways (excluding trunk roads) i.e. they must deal with the causes of highway flooding where these concern blocked culverts and/or gullies that cause water to flood the road and affect property on either side.

  AVBC as a Planning Authority - Planning Policy Statement 25(PPS25)

Planning Policy Statements (PPS) set out the Government's national policies on different aspects of land use planning in England. PPS 25 replaces Planning Policy Guidance Note 25: Development and Flood Risk. The policies in this PPS should be taken into account by regional planning bodies in the preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies; and, in general, by local planning authorities in the preparation of local development documents. They may also be material to decisions on individual planning applications.

Regional Flood Risk Appraisals (RFRAs)

Regional Planning Bodies should prepare regional flood risk appraisals (RFRAs) in consultation with the Environment Agency to inform their Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) on flood risk issues. By undertaking a strategic analysis of flood risk, RFRAs should inform RSS consideration of regionally significant uses, including the identification of broad locations and establishing locational criteria to highlight flooding issues that local planning authorities should address through their strategic flood risk appraisals (SFRAs). The Flood Map should inform RFRAs and appropriate plans prepared by the Environment Agency and other operating authorities (such as River Basin Management Plans, Catchment Flood Management Plans and Shoreline Management Plans). A RFRA should be used to inform the sustainability appraisal (incorporating the SEA Directive) of the RSS.

  Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRAs)

Local planning authorities (LPAs) and other decision-makers should prepare SFRAs in consultation with the Environment Agency, and take account of the LPAs own functions of emergency response and drainage authority under the Land Drainage Act 1991, and where appropriate Internal Drainage Boards. Initially the SFRA will be used to refine information on the areas that may flood, taking into account other sources of flooding and the impacts of climate change, in addition to the information on the Flood Map.

 Decision-makers should use the SFRA to inform their knowledge of flooding, refine the information on the Flood Map and determine the variations in flood risk from all sources of flooding across and from their area. These should form the basis for preparing appropriate policies for flood risk management for these areas.

  Site-specific Flood Risk Assessments (FRAs)

At the planning application stage, an appropriate FRA will be required to demonstrate how flood risk from all sources of flooding to the development itself and flood risk to others will be managed now and taking climate change into account.

 Policies in LDDs should require FRAs to be submitted with planning applications in areas of flood risk identified in the plan. The FRA should be prepared by the developer in consultation with the LPA. The FRA should form part of an Environmental Statement when one is required by the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 as amended.

 National Indicator 188 Planning to Adapt to Climate Change

Flooding is one of the potential wide-ranging effects of climate change. NI 188 seeks to reduce the impacts of climate change in Derbyshire through preparedness across these effects and partners in the Local Area Agreement (LAA) have committed to it.

 The work until April 2011 is about gathering data and evidence to identify risks and areas of vulnerability in order to develop an Adaptation Implementation Plan, which will be delivered during the next LAA from May 2011 onwards. These risks and our vulnerabilities to them must be identified so we can plan our adaptation responses to lessen the impact that a changed climate will have on all of us. Implementation of this plan will essentially involve climate-proofing operations and the extensive range of services offered to the wider community.

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