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Catchment Flood Management Plans

One of the Environment Agency's main goals is to reduce flood risk from rivers and the sea to people, property and the natural environment by supporting and implementing government policies. Flooding is a natural process and requires a sound understanding of the complex causes of flooding and taking co-ordinated action in partnership with others to reduce flood risk by:

  • Understanding current and future flood risk
  • Planning for the likely impacts of climate change
  • Preventing inappropriate development in flood risk areas
  • Delivering more sustainable measures to reduce flood risk
  • Exploring the wider opportunities to reduce the sources of flood risk, including changes in land use and land management practices and the use of sustainable drainage systems.

A Catchment Flood Management Plan (CFMP) is a strategic planning document developed by the Environment Agency together with other main decision-makers within a river catchment. (A catchment is an area that serves a river with rainwater. In other words, every part of land where the rainfall drains to a single river is in the same catchment). A CFMP aims to:

  • improve the well-being of people living in and visiting the area
  • to protect and enhance the environment through appropriate and sustainable flood risk management
  • understand the factors that contribute to Flood Risk within a catchment, such as how the land is used
  • recommend the best ways of managing the risk of flooding within the catchment over the next 50 to 100 years
  • work in partnership with other key decision-makers within a river catchment to define and agree long-term sustainable policies to manage flood risk within the catchment

CFMPs considers fluvial, ground water, surface water, and tidal flooding from rivers / estuaries (flooding caused by changes in sea levels), but do not consider flooding directly from the sea (coastal flooding) or harbours, which are covered by the SMPs. Potential conflicts in policy implementation may arise depending on site-specific location and policies e.g. where the SMP suggests managed realignment but the CFMP may suggest a policy to sustain or improve the current level of flood protection.

CFMPs consider flood risk under 3 scenarios - urban development, land use change and climate change. Policies determine whether action should be taken to increase, decrease or maintain the current level of fluvial flood risk.

Catchment Flood Management Plan Policies

1

No active intervention (including flood warning and maintenance), continue to monitor and advise

2

Reduce existing flood risk management actions (accepting that flood risk will increase with time)

3

Continue existing and alternative actions to manage flood risk at the current level (accepting that flood risk will increase over time from this baseline)

4

Take further action to sustain the current scale of flood risk into the future (responding to the potential increases in flood risk from urban development, land use change and climate change)

5

Take further action to reduce flood risk (now and/or in the future)

6

Take action to increase the frequency of flooding to achieve benefits locally or elsewhere (which may lead to an overall reduction in flood risk, e.g. habitat inundation

Within the North Solent SMP area there are 4 CFMPs:

CFMP

Stage

Completion date

Arun and West Streams

Out to consultation

April 07

South East Hampshire

Scoping Report completed. Main Report

April 08

Test and Itchen

Consultation on Main Report

end summer 07

New Forest

Consultation on Scoping Report. Main Report

April 08

For further details please visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/114154.aspx