North Yorkshire County Council is urging as many community groups and stakeholders as possible to respond to its local flood risk strategy.
The county council is currently consulting on the strategy which includes comprehensive mapping of flood risk from all sources across the county – an exercise which has never previously been undertaken.
Government legislation requires local authorities to play a major role in managing flood risk by developing such a strategy. Moreover successive flooding events across the county and increasing pressure on limited resources has underlined the importance of developing a more integrated and comprehensive approach for managing the risks of flooding. This includes identifying clear lines of responsibility and targets for improvement.
The county council’s strategy is therefore aimed at increasing the knowledge and understanding of flood risk across the broadest possible range of organisations, agencies and communities through education, training and strong partnerships.
As the largest council area in England, North Yorkshire also has one of the most extensive networks of watercourses – 1700 km of main rivers and 23,000 km of ordinary watercourses and land drainage within its boundaries.
The mapping exercise has outlined the scale and characteristics of flooding that could occur at any location in the county and highlighted a significant level of risk to property and critical infrastructure, including:
- Approximately 13,800 residential properties;
- Approximately 6,500 non residential properties;
- Many parts of the highways and rail network;
- Approximately 50 items of critical infrastructure (hospitals, emergency service facilities)
This has led to a prioritised list for the development and delivery of flood risk pilot projects and initiatives.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Environmental Services said: This strategy sets out priorities for dealing with flooding from a greater range of sources across the whole of North Yorkshire and we welcome any feedback.
We hope this comprehensive approach will give greater support to communities, will identify funding opportunities and ensure resources are targeted where most benefit can be gained.
The local flood risk strategy consultation runs until Wednesday 17 December 2014.