To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the progress made by each local authority in Gloucestershire in revising flood defence strategies by either (a) revising the local plan and (b) developing the local development framework; and what powers he has to monitor the development of flood defence strategies.
The Environment Agency reviews flood defences through catchment flood management plans and flood defence strategies. Revising and monitoring flood defence strategies is not a function of local authorities via the local plan or local development framework process.
In preparing strategic flood risk assessments, local authorities consider flood defences with a view to where they locate allocations for development and where they may require site-specific flood risk assessments to be carried out by developers and submitted with planning applications.
Strategic plans, such as catchment flood management plans and strategic flood risk assessments feed into the local development framework process by providing a baseline of evidence. This detailed environmental information allows informed decisions to be made in relation to land use and development proposals at both a regional and a local level.
The Environment Agency is involved with a strategic flood risk assessment (SFRA) that is currently being undertaken by Gloucestershire county council. This should assess flood risk from a variety of sources and will take account of the 2007 summer floods. It will assist local authorities in making future housing allocations and ensuring that future developments are as sustainable as possible in flood risk terms. The SFRA is due to be completed in May.