Broads stakeholders to discuss flood risk management

Broads stakeholders are being asked for their views on flood risk management after a review estimated that continuing to implement three separate strategies to protect vulnerable areas in Norfolk could cost up to £300m over the next 50 years.

The special meeting of the Broads Forum is just the first step in a process to shape future policy following the review into flood risk management across three areas of Norfolk commissioned by the Broads Climate Partnership (BCP).

Parish, district and county councils as well Broads Authority members and MPs have also been invited to the meeting on the evening of 3 November.

Consultants CH2M studied the three strategies in place to manage flood risk for the Eccles to Winterton coastal frontage, Broadland and Great Yarmouth in developing the Flood Management High Level Review.

The review found that despite the successful implementation of each of these strategies to date, continuing them as they are will require an ongoing commitment involving a considerable amount of work.

It revealed that the total costs over the next 50 years are likely to be between £200m to £300m at present value, with a projected future estimated value of between £400m and £500m.

Under current funding eligibility rules, central government grant aid (FDGiA) will not meet all of that cost.

The review concluded that there was a clear need for a single strategic overview for flood risk management in the areas that not only took into account the two-way relationship between coastal and inland flood risk but also wider concerns around the use of the areas by residents, visitors and the people who work in them.

But further work and analysis is needed first and the BCP along with stakeholders and other partners will be considering various issues and the scope of funding before taking forward development of any future strategy. The special meeting on 3 November is just the first step in the process.

John Packman, Chief Executive of BCP lead partner the Broads Authority, said: “Clearly a policy of maintaining the separate flood risk management work in the three areas identified would involve significant expense and therefore the Broads Climate Partnership needs to carefully consider every option. An update and review of the three strategies is long overdue and any approach to the areas needs to be joined up given their interconnectedness.

“We welcome the report’s analysis and are keen to see further work carried out to develop the most effective approach possible to managing flood risk. This is a very difficult conundrum which is why we are so keen to involve stakeholders at such an early stage to help the BCP develop a single effective strategy going forward.”

Dr Charles Beardall, Environment Agency Area Manager for East Anglia said: “We are pleased to see this recently completed report, which has pulled together important current and historic flood risk management information on the interrelated systems of the Broads, Great Yarmouth and the coast between Eccles and Winterton.

“We hope that the report will provide a sound basis for starting an informed discussion on how best to manage the Broads and wider connected areas into the future.

“This report has been produced for the Broads Climate Partnership which is working with the wider Broadland Community to develop this further.”

In the meantime, Broadland continues to be managed through the existing contract up to 2021, but elsewhere it may be necessary to carry out interim works along the Eccles to Winterton and Great Yarmouth tidal walls frontages to prevent failures and consequential damages.

Notes to editors:

The Broads Climate Partnership is made up of the Broads Authority (lead), Environment Agency, Natural England, National Farmers Union, Norfolk County Council, local authorities and the University of East Anglia

Monday 24 October 2016