Answers below your questions, please let me know if you need any further detail.



Dear Steve,

I would refer to our two telephone conversations, and would be glad if, as agreed you would confirm (or otherwise) the following:

1.Neither your presentation to the Flood Forum on  1st August nor this correspondence  is confidential;

ANSWER No, all consultation is open and available.

2.There is a common recommendation that applies throughout the “Yorkshire Derwent Catchment Flood Management Plan” which is: “Identify and abandon floodbanks that do not provide a reduction in flood risk to property”

ANSWERWe are planning for the future. Where flood risk benefits are marginal we cannot continue to deliver the same flood risk management service. It is unsustainable. We need to investigate the areas where we can abandon floodbanks and reconnect the river with it's floodplain, this is not fundamentally to protect property but we must address flood risk where the risks are greatest first before we can look into other areas. The highest risk obviously lies with the built environment.

3.In this context, “property” means the “built environment” – not agricultural land.

ANSWER See above.

4.Any flood bank which does not provide a reduction in flood risk to the built environment will be deemed to be “redundant”, regardless of whether or not it  provides a reduction in flood risk to agricultural land.

ANSWER No. This is a high level report detailing the generic approaches to flood risk over the 100 year time quantum. More detailed work could show that there may be many examples of locations where we can feasibly work with all parties involved and remove the artificially created floodbank, reconnect the river with it's floodplain and deliver flood risk management and a whole host of other benefits.

5. Where a flood bank is “redundant” in this sense, it is the intention of the Plan document that there should be a “restoration of natural floodplain”.

ANSWER As above. The opportunities presented if a floodbank is removed will drive this. It could be restoration of natural floodplain, flood storage, recreational use etc.

6. One of the recommended actions in the Plan is: “Prevent inappropriate development in the flood plain”. The “flood plain” will include not only the land which is currently situate on a flood plain, but also land situated behind flood banks which are deemed to be “redundant”.

ANSWER All floodplain identified in the Environment Agency's floodplain maps show a scenario with all of the flood defence assets already removed.

7.In our region, “the built environment” means mainly the conurbations, and the general strategy behind the plan document is to hold back flood water in the countryside, so as to reduce the risk of flooding in the cities.

ANSWER The CFMP policy units dealing with the future management of climate change are outweighed by those accepting or allowing the effects of climate change to deliver benefits locally or elsewhere. It is fair to say that the majority of the plan area is lower flood risk rural land usage.

8. Flood banks which protect villages will generally be repaired. However, there will be occasions when new defences might be built to protect villages, so that the existing ones, which are “redundant” can be taken down.

ANSWER As point 4. Detailed work is required. Where a large area of floodplain has historically been defended from flooding it would be unsustainable to continue. Localised defences may be considered to defend areas behind current assets, benefits and costs associated with this would have to be identified carefully.

9.Isolated dwellings, such as farm houses, may or may not continue to be protected, depending on an assessment of risk.

ANSWER As point 4 and above.

10.For purposes of applying the principles in the Plan, the subject area will be divided into several categories, which include “High Risk”, “Medium Risk” and “Low Risk”.

ANSWER High, Medium and Low risk ideals are related to the Agency's delivery of Asset Management. This is different to the CFMP. The CFMP represents the highest level of plan available to the Agency, a more detailed operational consideration is made regarding our ongoing asset management and maintenance. This was the latter part of the presentation given at the last land drainage group, I can revisit this with you if required.

11. The word “risk” in this context does not have its ordinary meaning. A “high risk” area is an area where there is a risk of flooding and a large concentration of population. A “low risk” area may be subject to the same degree of risk of flooding, but has a sparse population.

ANSWER In the context of asset management the level of risk is the combination of likelihood and consequence of flooding, the existing asset is considered and it's current condition is used to determine how it should be maintained. The risk rating is used to attract money and manpower to deliver an appropriate management regime for the risk category of the asset.

12. Malton/Norton, Pickering and Helmsley are the only parts of Ryedale classed as “High Risk” areas. Kirby Moorside is classed as a “Medium Risk” area, and the rest of the low lying parts of Ryedale (including the villages at the bottom of the Vale of Pickering) are classed as “Low Risk”.

ANSWER Yes. Again, as outlined in the presentation.

13.The Policy prescribed in the document is as follows:

    1. For “High Risk” areas, flood protection “assets” will be maintained in good condition, and some improvements might even be made;
    1. For “Low Risk” areas, flood prevention “assets” will only be maintained if they provide a reduction in flood risk to “the built environment” – ie the conurbations.

ANSWER As above, there is a confusion over the CFMP and the Agency's Asset Management process.  

14. The EA is not going to dredge the rivers.

ANSWER This is not inferred in the CFMP nor the presentation you refer to.

15.Although Pickering is a “High Risk” area, there is insufficient justification in terms of “Value for Money” for the implementation of the Flood Prevention Scheme the EA designed for Pickering in 2004. However, the EA will consider lesser schemes funded otherwise than out of EA funds, which might help improve Pickering’s flood defences.


I look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to correct any of the above which is not right.


Councillor Paul Andrews

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