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Items requiring urgent attention
Items which in the opinion of the Chairman should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.
There was no item raised as a matter of urgency.
Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/16/67), attached
(A representative from the Environment Agency attended and spoke at the invitation of the Committee).
The Committee considered the report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/16/67) on the role of County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority and functions of the different organisations involved with flood risk management and efforts to ensure that legal and policy requirements were correctly applied.
The County Council’s Flood Risk Officer, Emergency Planning Officer (Flooding Risk), the Neighbourhood Highways Engineer and the Environment Agency representative explained their respective roles working in liaison (and involving other organisations) and on actions during the recent flood events in the North Devon area.
Members’ discussion points with the above Officers and comments included:
· the investigation of significant flood events and publication of reports of the actions taken on the County Council’s website at https://new.devon.gov.uk/floodriskmanagement/flood-investigations-reports-and-studies/;
· the role of the County Council as the lead Flood Authority in providing advice as a statutory consultee in respect of planning applications submitted to Local Planning Authorities;
· the Emergency Planning Service’s duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004;
· the development of local plans by communities at risk of flooding and resources available to build community resilience, the take up of which was limited by Parishes;
· the limited resources available during flood events over a large area and the role of the Road Warden scheme to assist with gully and drain clearing, especially during Autumn with high leaf fall;
· the County Council’s gully and drain clearing programme and limited resources;
· the need to increase the capacities of certain drains (although downstream impacts would have to be considered);
· the flooding at Bradiford, road closure at Westaway Plain and flooding at Rolle Bridge and actions taken;
· the use and availability of aqua and sand bags and their limitations;
· Environment Agency pilots projects on Dartmoor involving Natural Flood Management initiatives in respect of upland areas which would be subject to evaluation;
· implications of any breaches of the Braunton outer banks (in private ownership);
· opportunities for the breaching of the levy at Tawstock and the need by the EA to keep the Parish Council informed;
· the need to lobby Government for additional resources for flood defences.
It was MOVED by Councillor Edgell, SECONDED by Councillor Chugg and
(a) that Report PTE/16/67 be noted and that this Committee express its concern at the time taken for any meaningful impacts to reduce the flooding risks in North Devon;
(b) that the Environment Agency be requested to provide feedback on its pilot initiatives and other developments in the area for consideration at the next meeting of this Committee on 31 March 2017.