Like the amendments that the Parliament has just agreed to, amendments 13 and 14 seek to give effect to unanimous recommendations made by the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee in its flooding report; indeed, at the time, the minister was the convener of the committee.
The committee has had long and, at times, heated discussions on the importance of there being clear and impartial advice and evidence before any planning permission is granted for a development about which there is concern that the risk of flooding may be increased either at the site of the development itself or downstream.
It was made clear during evidence taking that pressure is always brought to bear on planning authorities by many different parties when there is evidence that a development that is seen to bring perceived economic benefit may increase the risk of flooding either at the site or further down the river's catchment area.
The committee recommended that the Scottish Government ensures that a full flood risk assessment is a prerequisite for the granting of planning permission for individual developments in areas that are at risk of flooding. [Interruption.]