S Binks, Principal Engineer, Environment Services, was in attendance at the meeting and had submitted a report to update Members in relation to the Flood Risk Management Report considered by the Panel at its meeting on 12 November 2012.
The report provided a summary of actions taken locally to manage flood risk resulting from recommendations of the Pitt Report, stating that Scrutiny Committees, needed to review works carried out to manage flood risk.
Update information was provided in relation to the following:-
Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA)
A progress update on the implications of the enactments of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and from the introduction of the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 transposed from the European Floods Directive.
Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS)
As the Local Lead Flood Authority (LLFA), Middlesbrough Council had developed a Local Flood Risk Management (LFRMS), which addressed risks from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses, for which it was responsible. The document was currently subject to consultation with the consultation period ending on 30 August 2013. An Action Plan to accompany the Strategy was currently being developed. Copies of the LFRMS were available to Members.
SuDS Approval Body (SAB)
It was anticipated that the SuDS Approval Body (SAB) would be introduced in April 2014. The SAB would be responsible for providing approval of surface water drainage before connection to the public sewerage system. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) consent must be provided prior to commencement of construction, where there were drainage implications. The SAB would also inspect, adopt and maintain SuDS for new developments exceeding one property. This would have financial implications regarding the maintenance of the SuDS.
Water Framework Directive (WFD)
The Council continued to work with the Environment Agency to improve water quality of Middlesbroughs lakes and ponds. Some of this work would also assist in providing flood prevention measures. Particular mention was made to Prissick where de-culverting of 300m of tributary of Ormesby Beck across Prissick Base was to be carried out along with the works to the proposed sports village. Also, Saltersgill and Clairville SuDS areas had been identified in the Surface Water Management Plan. Saltersgill was undergoing a further modelling study to refine the scheme and the Council was working with the future developer of Clairville Stadium to progress the Clairville SuDS.
Management of Flood Risk - Regional Prioritisation Approach
The Council had started working with Northumbrian Water and other North East Lead Local Flood Authorities to develop, agree and implement a partnership approach to strategic drainage area planning across the north east.
The work would assist in understanding drainage system interactions, hydraulic risk and future needs. The results would be based on five factors and used to identify locations for more detailed studies. Those factors were as follows:-
NWL Capacity Map - Wastewater Network, Dry Weather Flow Capacity Map. The capacity map considered the likelihood of hydraulic failure of the sewer network and the consequences to provide a risk value.
Growth data (Strategic Housing Land Allocation Assessments up to 2017) - SHLAA identified potential new developments. Analysis would provide an understanding of future demands on public sewerage systems resulting from the new development.
Interactions with flood zones 3 - Understanding any outfalls from surface water zones.
Properties in Surface Water Flood Zone - Environment Agency Surface Water flood risk map of whole country. Analysis would provide an understanding of where surface water flooding may occur and identify more susceptible zones.
Environment Agency ecological river quality - Providing an understanding of ecological conditions.
Appendix 2 to the submitted report was a presentation by Northumbrian Water in relation to the Regional Prioritisation Approach (Middlesbrough District), which aimed to balance reactive short-term needs with longer-term strategic planning for the provision of sustainable drainage systems through a partnership approach whilst complementing existing practices.
Northumbrian Water were meeting with all Councils to discuss how to agree a prioritisation approach. The results of the assessment would be a ranked list based on five factors that would be used to identify and prioritise locations for a more detailed study.
It was highlighted that this was just the start of the process and a meeting would be held towards the end of the year, involving all of the North East Councils and Northumbrian Water, in order to discuss the priority rankings in more detail.
During the course of discussion, the following issues were raised:-
In response to a query, the Panel was advised that the Council had responded appropriately to all alerts from the Environment Agency and worked closely with the Emergency Planning Unit in relation to flooding and flood risk issues.
The Panel made reference to the current economic climate where the Council was required to make savings. It was stated that the general consensus was that work in relation to flood risk should be protected as much as reasonably possible.
The Panel was advised that the Council was continuing to investigate highway drainage systems and identify their locations. A five-yearly inspection regime was being prepared, with a three-yearly regime for woodland areas, and would form part of the Action Plan.
In response to a query, it was confirmed that the service area was involved with pre-application planning meetings in terms of drainage at new developments and this generally started one year prior to work commencing on site. All drainage was adopted by Northumbrian Water and appropriate checks were made in relation to the drainage systems. The Council was responsible for checking all roads, lighting and gulley spacings. It was highlighted that when the SuDS Approval Body was introduced, the Council would be responsible for checking surface water sewer capacity, etc.
In relation to a query regarding covered hard standings and gardens, it was confirmed that any driveway/garden (at the front of a property) exceeding 5 sq m, required planning permission. The Council would recommend that permeable paving be used or installation of drainage leading to a soakaway.
The Chair thanked the Officer for attending and for the information provided.
AGREED as follows:-
1. That the update information provided in relation to Flood Risk Management be noted.
2. That a further update be received by the Panel in 12 months time and thereafter on an annual basis.