By Paul Geater
, Local government correspondent
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
SUFFOLK County Council is to launch its first ever strategy looking at ways of reducing the threat of flash flooding.
This type of flooding affects the largest number of properties in the county and is the most difficult to predict.
The new strategy sets out what organisations responsible for managing the risk of flooding will do to limit its impact and details how members of the public and business owners can take action to protect their properties.
It follows months of public consultation and consideration by all of the county’s district and borough councils, Natural England and the Environment Agency.
It is estimated one in six properties in Suffolk is at risk of flooding from one or more sources. This includes around 11,750 properties at risk of surface water flooding and 2,900 at risk of river flooding.
The strategy sets out what the responsible organisations will do to manage the risk.
nImproving understanding of, and recording, sites where surface water flood risks exist.
nInvestigating the causes of flooding to understand how to prevent it in future.
nDeveloping investment plans and coordinating funding bids to help reduce flood risk.
nSupporting property and land owners who want to protect themselves from flooding.
nEnsuring new developments do not increase the risk of flooding.
nMaking rivers and streams more natural by removing unnecessary structures.
Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member responsible for planning, said: “The risk of flooding from rivers or the sea is generally more predictable and the Environment Agency is set up to manage this.
“Until now however, less has been known about localised flash flooding caused by heavy downpours. This strategy has been created to manage this increasingly common risk.
“Our biggest challenge is that there is never going to be enough public money available to protect everyone from flooding and the increasing risk caused by climate change.
“This means we have to find new ways of doing things – which includes working with residents and business owners to raise awareness of what can be done to protect themselves and their properties.”