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EFRA launches flood prevention inquiry

An inquiry into future flood prevention in England following the severe flooding this winter has been launched by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA).

The committee is inviting written evidence on four key topics:

  • Predicting the future: Are the Environment Agency and Met Office models that predict rainfall patterns and the likelihood of future floods fit for purpose - and do they correctly calculate the costs of future flooding to communities?
  • Protecting communities and infrastructure: How adequately do defences protect communities and agricultural land from floods and do current funding arrangements target spending in the right way?
  • Managing water flows: How effectively do Defra and the Environment Agency’s policies encourage innovative approaches to managing risk such as slowing the flow of water in urban and rural river catchment areas and promoting water storage?
  • Planning for floods: How well do planning policies ensure new buildings are not put in areas of high flood risk nor where they would increase risk to others – and how well do new developments incorporate sustainable drainage and flood-resilient buildings?

The committee will also look at flood insurance as part of the inquiry. With the new Flood Re scheme coming into operation in April, EFRA said written evidence is also welcome on how accessible and affordable flood insurance will be for businesses as well as householders covered by the scheme. Flooding has affected many areas this winter, costing communities more than £5bn to date and disrupting thousands of peoples’ lives and businesses, said EFRA. Record rainfall fell in many areas and the consequent floods overwhelmed defences in some places.

Neil Parish MP, chair of the committee, said: "Flood damage of the sort suffered by communities across the UK this winter is becoming all-too-frequent an occurrence. I know from personal experience how flooding can damage not only buildings, land and infrastructure, but how it can also devastate lives.

“Questions need to be answered about whether there are adequate measures in place to plan for frequent, extreme flood events. We want to see how effectively the Environment Agency predicts and prepares for floods in a changing climate. We will also be asking how far Defra policies protect communities in high risk areas from future devastation."

The deadline for written submissions is March 15, 2016.

Author: Maureen Gaines, Editor, WET News Find on Google+
Topic: Flooding & Urban Drainage , Sewer Networks
Tags: flooding , environment agency , insurance , planning

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