|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects that the feasibility/design stage of the Environment Agency project concerning (a) the possible raising of ground levels at the western end of Gossmore Close in Marlow and (b) the construction of flap valve/headwall of the existing highway ditch adjacent to Firview Close in Marlow will be reached; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: I understand that the raising of the ground levels at the western end of Gossmore Close is part of the Firview Close Area Study and has gone through a pre-feasibility study only. It is currently being considered for inclusion on the Environment Agency's Capital Programme.
As an interim measure I understand that Wycombe district council and Buckinghamshire county council have agreed that if another flood event occurs (of a magnitude that puts the properties in Firview Close at risk of flooding), they will make arrangements for an emergency headwall to be constructed across the highway ditch with the aim of protecting the properties from river flooding.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects that the feasibility/design stage of the Environment Agency project concerning the possible erection of an earth bund at the rear of Bream Close/Trout Close in Marlow will be reached; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 November 2004]: I understand that the Environment Agency's pre-feasibility study for this area is now complete and has concluded that there is a viable project to reduce the risk of river flooding to the residential properties on the Pound Lane estate.
The preferred option is for construction of a substantial earth bund, commencing at the rear of Bream Close and extending in a north easterly direction to the rear of Trout Close. Feasibility and design for this proposal is now under way.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she has taken in relation to the conclusions of the Environment Agency feasibility study on the prevention of flooding in Medmenham; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 30 November 2004]: Environment Agency (EA) flood risk improvement projects must meet specified economic, technical and environmental criteria and achieve the threshold priority score for the year in which they start in order to be eligible for funding from Defra's ring-fenced improvement allocation which is shared between all operating authorities.
I have not seen a copy of this feasibility study. However, I understand that the EA's preferred option is for a flood bund around the properties in Ferry Lane on both the east and west side of the road including the Abbey. I understand, however, the priority score for the proposal is relatively low and construction is therefore unlikely to progress in the near future. In the meantime the EA is working closely with riparian owners to ensure local watercourses are property maintained.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the effect of the coming into force of the European Constitution on the operation of her Department, with reference to (a) changes in legislative competence, (b) the extension of qualified majority voting, (c) the increased legislative role of the European Parliament, (d) the cost of implementation of regulations, (e) the requirements of adherence to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and (f) the quantity of legislation originating in the EU institutions. 
The Environment Agency has a statutory duty to maintain water levels of the Thames within a range of +6" to -3" of Standard Head Water Level, marked at the head of each lock. To achieve this, the weir associated with each lock is operated to regulate the amount of flow through it, which will either raise or lower the water level of the reach above the weir. In this way the rate of flow of the river may rise or fall although the level of the river may remain much the same.
After rain, as river flows increase, weir gates are opened to prevent, or to minimise as far as possible, rises in water level. Water is not deliberately held back. When very high flows are experienced, they may exceed the capacity of the river channel at which point it overtops its banks even though the weir may be fully open.
Mr. Morley: I understand proposed dredging works are scheduled to take place at Marlow Lock tail cut in the winter of 2005. This programme of dredging was developed in response to the findings of the Summer/Autumn 2004 River Thames Reach bathymetric surveys.
In line with the Mechanism of Flooding Report recommendations, the agency is currently reviewing its position on the options and case for additional dredging. This work includes: searching for new disposal sites for the dredging (including reprocessing), reviewing environmental implications and recalculating the potential benefits and costs to assess the economic justification of further dredging. This report will be concluded in spring 2005.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used in determining which sites would be eligible to deal with hazardous waste; and if she will make a statement 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 29 November 2004]: With the ending of the co-disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste in landfills, operators had to decide on the classification for each of their landfill sites post 16 July 2004. For those sites that choose to be designated as hazardous waste landfills, operators had to apply to the Environment Agency for a permit that contained the operating conditions for the site. The Agency had to then decide whether a permit should be issued and, if so, what operating conditions should be applied.
The requirements for a hazardous waste landfill are set out in the Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002, as amended by the Landfill (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 and related Pollution Prevention and Control Legislation. Those sites designated as hazardous but have yet to complete the permitting process, can continue to accept hazardous waste under the terms of its waste management licence until such time as a decision on the permit application is made. The Environment Agency is unable to issue a permit unless the necessary planning permissions are in place.
Mr. Keith Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many homes in the Manchester, Withington constituency have benefited from the home energy efficiency and warm front schemes. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|