Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 18th May 2006
Title of Item/Report
Tees Valley Joint Strategic Flood Risk Assessment
Record of the Decision
Cabinet received a report relating to the joint Tees Valley Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and noted that it would form part of the evidence base for the Local Development Framework.

Members were informed that consultation draft Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk stated that all local planning authorities should prepare a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, in consultation with the Environment Agency, to determine the variations in flood risk across the Borough as the basis for preparing appropriate policies for flood risk management for those areas. This would also enable the Council to determine the acceptability of flood risk in relation to emergency planning capability. Strategic Flood Risk Assessments had to either form part of the Sustainability Appraisal of Local Development Documents, or be used to inform the sequential approach to flood risk for site allocations and in determining planning applications.

The submission draft of the Regional Spatial Strategy for the North East (June 2005) also advocated that in developing Local Development Frameworks and considering planning applications a sequential risk-based approach to development and flooding should be adopted. In addition it would be necessary to undertake a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.

Following a meeting with the Environment Agency and the other Tees Valley Authorities in January 2006, the Head of Planning Services was in agreement to pursue a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment in conjunction with the other Tees Valley Authorities. Joint working was particularly encouraged and there were numerous examples of such joint working.

The Council's Procurement Team were satisfied that Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council would go out to tender for the Tees Valley Authorities to ensure that best value for money was achieved. The Environment Agency would be invited to submit a competitive tender by linking work carried out on the River Tees Catchment Flood Management Plan

It was estimated that the costs for a local authority to undertake a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment singly was between 20,000 and 25,000. It was also estimated that costs between 40,000 and 45,000 jointly for a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for the Boroughs of Redcar & Cleveland, Stockton and Middlesbrough (a maximum of 15,000 each). Since the estimates were received, Hartlepool Borough Council and Darlington Borough Council had agreed to undertake a joint Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.

Dependent on the appointed consultant's workload, it was anticipated that the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment would take a maximum of six months to complete and would require a "planning input" into the final Strategic Flood Risk Assessment to ensure that the data had been interpreted correctly and that it was a planning document with a technical input and not a technical report with a planning input.

Members were provided with details the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a joint Strategic Flood Risk Assessment as follows:

Advantages

o Economies of scale
o The River Tees catchment area extends beyond the authority boundary
o A development within one Authority boundary may increase the risk of flooding elsewhere if a holistic approach is not adopted
o Frees up Council staff to concentrate on the preparation of other development plan documents
o Avoid any legal challenge as to the soundness of a development plan document

Disadvantages

o Consultants have to be able to fit it into their workload
o Each local planning authority are at different stages of production of their local development documents

RESOLVED that

1. the principle of undertaking a Joint Strategic Flood Risk Assessment be endorsed.

2. the appointment of consultants to carry out this work be endorsed.
Reasons for the Decision
Consultation draft Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk stated that all local planning authorities should prepare a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, in consultation with the Environment Agency, to determine the variations in flood risk across the Borough as the basis for preparing appropriate policies for flood risk management for those areas. This would enable the Council to determine the acceptability of flood risk in relation to emergency planning capability. Strategic Flood Risk Assessments had to either form part of a sustainability appraisal of local development documents, or be used to inform the sequential approach to flood risk for site allocations and in determining planning applications.

The submission draft of the Regional Spatial Strategy for the North East (June 2005) also advocated that in developing Local Development Frameworks and considering planning applications a sequential risk-based approach to development and flooding should be adopted.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than midnight on Friday, 26th May 2006.


Proper Officer
D.E.Bond
22nd May 2006
Attachment

Date of Publication: 24 May 2006


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