The government has launched a call for evidence which will form the basis for future policies to protect people, businesses and the environment from the effects of flooding and coastal erosion.
The public, scientists, local authorities and industry are invited to give their views on urgent questions and inform future policies to tackle a problem which, over the coming decades, is set to increase as a result of population growth and climate change.
Despite government investment of £2.6bn over six years to deliver more than 1,000 projects to better protect 300,000 homes, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, wants to strengthen the flood and coastal erosion policy framework to ensure that it can continue to manage risks effectively.
By the end of this year, the government will set out its policy direction to better prepare the country for future flooding and coastal erosion, while making the most of the opportunities for wider economic, social and environmental benefits in towns, countryside and coast.
Responses to the call for evidence will be used to inform the upcoming government policy statement on flooding and coastal erosion, a national infrastructure strategy and the decisions made in a spending review.
Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: “With one in six people in England already living in properties at risk of flooding, and after a record investment in flood defences from 2015-21 better protecting 300,000 homes, it is important to explore how we can continue to manage these risks effectively and prepare the country for the future.
“While the government leads the way in ensuring our people and places are protected, we will be issuing a new national policy statement later this year which will be informed by a number of sources, including this call for evidence on which we are seeking views on key issues.”
The Environment Agency will also update its national strategy for flood and coastal erosion, based on the new government policy statement and the responses to their own recent consultation.
The call for evidence will look at a series of key flood and coast policy issues that the government is currently considering. Areas where additional evidence is needed include:
- What do we mean when we talk about “resilience” – what could a shared, clear and consistent understanding about what resilience means look like so progress can be measured?
- Adapting to coastal change - what have coast protection authorities done to join up decisions about managing the coastline with wider plans for the area?
- Have businesses used the provision to claim corporation tax relief on their contributions to government funded flood and coast projects?
- Local funding initiatives for flood risk management – are there examples of what worked well and what could be improved?
- How are developer contributions being used to fund work to manage flood risks?
- Managing financial risks from flooding – how do organisations manage the financial risks associated with flooding, in the context of climate change?
The call for evidence will run for six weeks and be open to all interested parties in England only. The deadline for responses is 19 August 2019.