Additional Memorandum submitted by Mr Ewan Larcombe (FW 20)
1. I am a Parish Councillor and these are my personal views.
2. I am concerned that the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 allow the lead local flood authority to ignore a medium or high probability flood caused only by groundwater.
3. According to FRR 2009 (clause 20 (3)a) the lead local flood authority is able to ignore a medium or high probability flood caused only by groundwater.
4) The FRR 2009 legislation is clear and unambiguous, but is it correct?
5) Within low-lying areas above gravel strata, rising flood water permeation leads to the flood water just 'popping up' out of the ground when the Thames rises. This visible water (which I would call groundwater flooding) is as wet and harmful as the other types of flood water, but the FRR 2009 legislation clearly states that flood caused only by groundwater may be ignored.
6) The word groundwater is only used twice in the FRR 2009 Statutory Instrument http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/pdf/uksi_20093042_en.pdf
7) I have reproduced the relevent section of the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 from the OPSI page http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/uksi_20093042_en_1 below and highlighted the relevent text.
8) I would respectfully request that you consider this apparent anomaly while debating the Flood and Water Management Bill.
Duty to prepare flood hazard maps and flood risk maps: lead local flood authorities
19.-(1) A lead local flood authority must prepare in relation to each relevant flood risk area-
(a) a flood hazard map, and
(b) a flood risk map.
(2) "Relevant flood risk area" means-
(a) the flood risk area identified by the lead local flood authority under regulation 14(1), or
(b) if a referral is made to the Minister, the flood risk area determined by the Minister under regulation 14(6).
(3) A lead local authority is not required to include in the maps that it prepares information about flooding from a source mentioned in regulation 18(1)(a) unless the authority thinks that it may affect flooding from another source.
(4) The Environment Agency-
(a) must review flood hazard maps and flood risk maps prepared under this regulation, and
(b) may recommend modifications.
(5) Following a review, a lead local flood authority may revise its flood hazard map or flood risk map.
(6) The Agency's power to require information under regulation 36 includes power to require a lead local flood authority to provide a flood hazard map or a flood risk map by a specified date.
Flood hazard maps
20.-(1) A flood hazard map is a map which identifies flood risk areas and shows-
(a) the likely extent (including water level or depth) of possible floods,
(b) the likely direction and speed of flow of possible floods, and
(c) whether the probability of each possible flood occurring is low, medium or high (in the opinion of the person preparing the map).
(2) The floods to be included are those for which a significant flood risk has been identified under regulation 13 or 14.
(3) But the following may be ignored-
(a) a medium or high probability flood caused only by groundwater,
(b) a medium or high probability flood which would affect only an area of coastline that, in the opinion of the person preparing the map, is adequately protected against flooding.
(4) In paragraph (3) "groundwater" means water which is below the surface of the ground and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.
(5) For the purposes of this regulation-
(a) the probability of a flood occurring is low if the chances of it occurring in any 12 month period are 0.1% or less,
(b) the probability of a flood occurring is medium if the chances of it occurring in any 12 month period are more than 0.1% but not more than 1%, and
(c) the probability of a flood occurring is high if the chances of it occurring in any 12 month period are more than 1%.
(6) The information included in a flood hazard map must not be inconsistent with the information included in the river basin management plan for the district.
(7) In this regulation and regulation 21 "river basin management plan" means a river basin management plan prepared under regulation 11 of the Water Environment Regulations.
(8) A lead local flood authority must have regard to any guidance issued by the Environment Agency about the form of flood hazard maps.