A public consultation is underway on Devon’s latest flood risk management strategy.
The draft document, produced by Devon County Council and partner authorities, outlines how the risk of flooding to property and infrastructure will be managed and reduced over the next six years, from 2021-2027.
The strategy looks at how plans for flood alleviation schemes can be developed and how communities can increase their resilience against flooding and the impact of climate change.
Through partnership working and community engagement, investment is prioritised to target high risk communities. Natural and sustainable flood management measures will be promoted, where appropriate, in all flood investigations and improvement projects, to reduce the scale, or need, of hard engineering solutions.
The second part of the strategy prioritises areas and communities to be considered for investment in flood alleviation works. Although priorities are subject to change, it currently includes Exeter, Kingsbridge, Tiverton, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Exmouth, Newton Abbot, Seaton, Kingsteignton, Totnes, Bideford, Ilfracombe, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Crediton and Okehampton.
Industry professionals, town and parish councils and members of the public are all invited to have their say before the consultation closes on Thursday 15 October.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We want to ensure Devon is more resilient against the risk of flooding and that the county is adapting and preparing for the effects of future climate change. We recognise that flood risk to property and infrastructure is increasing as a result of climate change, and we’re seeking to proactively manage this with our partners, in a way that is underpinned by the latest science and projections, using local expertise and knowledge.
“This document not only sets out the strategy for reducing flood risk in Devon, but also how to do so in a sustainable way that will minimise the negative impacts on the natural, built and historic environment. Where possible it’s also seeking improvements that will benefit Devon’s communities and natural environment. We want our communities to be resilient by being aware of the risks and being prepared, with precautionary measures in place to limit potential damages.”
As Lead Local Flood Authority, Devon County Council developed its first strategy in 2014, covering up to 2020.
Devon’s latest strategy has been produced in line with the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. It also links in with the Flood Risk Management Plans and River Basin Management Plans for the region delivered by The Environment Agency, and will help bring together funding for the investment programme over the next six years.
The draft document also details the responsibilities of the Risk Management Authorities in Devon and how they must work in partnership to coordinate local flood risk management.