To receive Devon County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority report conducted under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 Section 19 (attached). Head of Environmental Health to report. (NOTE: Martin Hutchings from the Flood Management Group of Devon County Council will be in attendance). An accessible version of the report is available on Devon County Council’s website: Barnstaple and Devon-Wide Floods 17th August 2020 - Flood Risk Management.
The Committee considered the Section 19 Barnstaple Flooding update report (circulated previously).
The Chair invited Martin Hutchings from Devon County Council to address the Committee.
Mr Hutchings provided the following update:
· Devon County Council had confirmed that they had a duty to investigate the event that occurred last August 2020 in Barnstaple which was identified as a flooding event
· Devon County Council took the lead in the investigation with assistance from South West Water, Devon County Highways and the Environment Agency
· A wide area had been affected with no one specific location
· The event happened at a point of the six year agreement with Defra was coming to an end so was a good opportunity to add Barnstaple into their new strategy which was endorsed by Devon County Council’s Cabinet at its meeting in February 2021
· It normally took five years from the point of a flooding event taking place to a strategy being put in place but that it was hoped Barnstaple would be included for the 2022/2023 year
· A Section 19 report was a very high level report and the risk areas highlighted would be included in any new strategy drafted
In response to questions Mr Hutchings gave the following answers:
· Other locations not highlighted on the map such as Bishops Tawton were being managed by other Risk Management Agencies such as the Environment Agency
· Due to funding issues their scheme was currently on hold
· The sewage system would be looked at by South West Water who were aware of the issues and were working with consultants to find solutions
· New housing developments had to ensure there was no run off of rain water from their development, Devon County Council had drawn up its strategy for new developments in conjunction with the national strategy so no new development would increase run off and this was taken very seriously
· Retro fitting on established highways was not something Mr Hutchings was aware of but that rain gardens were being created in schools with several schools in Barnstaple identified to take part in this project
The Committee noted the report.