Defra seeks evidence on flooding and coastal erosion

Defra has issued a call for evidence which will inform its future flooding and coastal erosion policy.

Forest planting at Doddington North Moor near Wooler - image: Confor
Forest planting at Doddington North Moor near Wooler - image: Confor

As it prepares a government policy statement on flooding and coastal erosion, a national infrastructure strategy and for the delayed spending review, Defra is particularly interested in hearing evidence on these subjects with regard to England only:

  • What do we mean when we talk about "resilience" – what could a shared, clear and consistent understanding about what resilience means look like so progress can be measured?

  • Adapting to coastal change - what have coast protection authorities done to join up decisions about managing the coastline with wider plans for the area?

  • Have businesses used the provision to claim corporation tax relief on their contributions to government funded flood and coast projects?

  • Local funding initiatives for flood risk management – are there examples of what worked well and what could be improved?

  • How are developer contributions being used to fund work to manage flood risks?

  • Managing financial risks from flooding – how do organisations manage the financial risks associated with flooding, in the context of climate change?

Currently one in six people in England live in properties at risk of flooding.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "While the government leads the way in ensuring our people and places are protected, we will be issuing a new national policy statement later this year which will be informed by a number of sources, including this call for evidence on which we are seeking views on key issues."

The Environment Agency will also update its national strategy for flood and coastal erosion, based on the new government policy statement and the responses to their own recent consultation.

The deadline for response is 19 August 2019.

Environment agency chief executive James Bevan told Horticulture Week’s sister magazine The ENDS Report in June that "we cannot prevent some parts of the country from flooding or eventually disappearing into the sea". His warning followed advice from the Committee on Climate Change that the UK is likely to see at least one-metre sea level rise "within our children’s lifetime". 

Defra’s call for evidence also asks for examples of flood and coastal erosion protection projects "funded from sources other than the public sector" and what could be done to encourage more "private and community funded initiatives", particularly when it comes to contributions from new developments. 

The Welsh government launched a flooding and coastal erosion consultation in June that stressed the importance of "nature based solutions".

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