Agenda item

Update on the implementation of the North Yorkshire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy - Report of the NYCC Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services


Considered – A report by Emily Mellalieu, Development Management Team Leader, Business and Environmental Services at the County Council regarding the implementation of the North Yorkshire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.


The key points from the presentation of the report are as summarised below:


·         An update was last brought to the committee in 2019.  Since then, there have been two significant flood events (Upper Dales and Aire catchment) and the Section 19 reports arising has resulted in the diversion of a significant amount of resource from the team

·         The flood risk programme continues to be delivered.  Particular progress has been made with the delivery of the Malton, Norton and Old Malton flood management scheme, which is nearing completion

·         A review of the North Yorkshire Local Flood Risk Strategy is presently underway. Public consultation on the revision is planned during 2022.  The original strategy was published in 2015

·         Community encouragement and the use of local knowledge is a key element of the management of flood risk

·         The Resilience and Emergency Team work with communities to develop locally owned and implemented resilience plans, in the event of a flood

·         The dispersed nature of flood risk in North Yorkshire has meant that the approach taken is one whereby flood protection measures are installed at an individual property level, using measures such as flood barriers, to prevent water ingress

·         Robust advice on surface water drainage and flood risk during the planning process of new housing developments is provided and critical to ensuring that a new development does not heighten the flood risk

·         Since 2011, the Council has undertaken flood investigation at over 200 sites

·         A reactive budget is available for the delivery of low cost (below £10,000, works identified during flood risk investigations which would help reduce local flood risk.


There followed a discussion, the key points of which are summarised as below:


·         There is a need to tackle complacency in local communities, key stakeholders and commercial developers

·         Flood events can have a negative impact upon people’s health and wellbeing, impact upon house prices and undermine the local economy and businesses

·         Often work is needed upstream to prevent flooding incidences downstream.  The costs may be carried by those upstream to the benefit of those downstream.  This can create disincentives

·         Climate change poses some increased risks as winter become warmer and wetter

·         Ongoing concerns about housing developments on flood plains and areas that are known to have flooding and drainage issues

·         There is a need for the drainage infrastructure to be improved so that it can cope with higher volumes of rainfall during extreme weather events and move water away from built up areas quickly and efficiently

·         When flood mitigation is being considered, it would be helpful to also consider whether small scale hydro-electric power generation projects could be included.


County Councillor David Goode asked whether the planting of trees in upland areas would effectively increase the water holding capacity of the land upstream and so reduce the volume and rate of water released into water courses downstream.


Emily Mellalieu said that tree planting is part of an overall approach of natural flood management but was seen as being a complementary measure and not a key tool in flood risk mitigation.


County Councillor David Staveley said that more attention needed to be paid to local people and their understanding of the flood risk in a given area.  Often, planning consent is given for a commercial housing development in an area where it is known to regularly flood but this local intelligence has not been captured or considered.


Emily Mellalieu said that community knowledge and intelligence could be taken into account as part of planning decisions but the national planning framework had to be followed.  There has to be a formal flood risk assessment undertaken by the Lead Local Flood Authority, as opposed to a summary of local opinion on flood risk.


County Councillor Stanley Lumley summed up and thanked Emily Mellalieu for attending the meeting.




1)         That Emily Mellalieu comes back to the committee once the new strategy has been signed off, for a further update on key issues arising around flood prevention and response.




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