Copeland Flood Risk Assessment
I've taken a day and a half of my annual holiday yesterday and today to attend a succession of council meetings: full council on Tuesday afternoon, an Overview and Scrutiny task group on bus passes and concessionary fares this morning, and a flood risk presentation this afternoon.
This last meeting was the presentation to councillors and officers of Copeland's new Strategic Floor Risk Assessment document (SFRA.)
Unlike most of the huge raft of documents which now form part of the planning process thanks to John Prescott, this one is actually useful. It sets out the current professional view of the areas of the Borough which are respectively effective flood plain, areas with High risk of flooding, Medium risk, and the remainder (area 1). It also lists the procedures to be followed when development in various areas are considered to look at flood risk and how you would deal with it.
I know from painful experience that flooding can appear in the most unlikely places: some six or seven years ago in my former ward of Sandridge and Jersey Farm, several large lakes suddenly appeared miles from the nearest river, flooding two or three families amongst my then constituents out of their homes and threatening another dozen properties. Basically the water table had risen above ground level.
The geology of Copeland makes this less likely to happen in Copeland but the document recognises that we need to monitor groundwater and drainage flood risk as well as those from rivers and the sea.
The Flood risk assessment is due to appear on the Copeland Borough Council website in the near future and I suggest anyone with an interest in potential developments in the council area, especially on sites anywhere near rivers or the coast, would find it worth while to read it.