East Cornwall CFMP


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East Cornwall CFMP

  1. 1. East Cornwall CFMP.QXD 5/15/08 12:51 PM Page 1 managing flood risk East Cornwall Catchment Flood Management Plan – summary of draft plan May 2008
  2. 2. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 2 Introduction We are the Environment Agency. It’s our job to look after your environment and make it a better place – for you, and for future generations. It will never be possible to prevent flooding entirely. But what we can do is work with local authorities and others to manage floods. This means we can reduce both the chance and the impact of flooding. This leaflet is a summary of our draft East Cornwall Catchment Flood Management Plan. It aims to: • inform interested groups and individuals about current flood risks; • explain how flooding is likely to change in the future; • find out your views on our flood risk management policies and actions. To get the full report and give us your views, please see the back page. What’s the draft plan about? The Catchment Flood Management Plan (CFMP) provides an overview of flood risk management in a particular catchment. We are producing a range of CFMPs that will cover the whole of England and Wales. CFMPs look at flooding from all sources except for coastal flooding from the sea, which is considered in Shoreline Management Plans. CFMPs will guide our future investment and activities in managing flood risk in a river catchment. They will help us decide how flood risks might change and be managed over the next 100 years. The East Cornwall CFMP contains policies and guidance that will help us and our partners decide the best ways to manage future flood risk. Climate change, urban development and land use management all have a big influence on these decisions. We want the final plan to be used by organisations involved in land use planning, rural development, agriculture, transport, recreation, nature conservation and protection of the historic environment. This will ensure that flood risk management and our future proposals are taken into account in their policies and plans. We have consulted local authorities and many others, such as Natural England and South West Water, and we are now asking a wider range of people and organisations for their views on the draft plan. In particular we would like your comments on the proposed policies and actions. We will carefully consider all comments we receive in producing the final CFMP. Above: Flood flows on the River Camel at Slaughterbridge near Camelford in August 2004 Front cover: Cars swept away by flooding from the River Pol at Mill Hill Bridge in Polperro in December 1993 2
  3. 3. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 3 Catchment description The East Cornwall CFMP includes a range of river catchments varying in size from only a few square kilometres to the Camel catchment, which is the largest at 235 square kilometres (90 square miles). Key rivers include the Camel, Allen, Fowey, Menalhyl, Gannel, Valency, Strat, Neet, Pol and Seaton. The principal urban centres are Newquay, Padstow and Wadebridge in the north-west, Bodmin and Fowey in the south-west, Bude in the north, Liskeard in the east and Looe on the south coast. Area: 1,400 square kilometres (540 square miles). Population: 146,000. Annual rainfall: Varies from 850millimetres (33 inches) on the coast to more than 1,800mm (70in) over Bodmin Moor. This is a lot more than the average for England and Wales of 920mm (36in). Land use: The catchment is predominantly grassland, arable and horticultural, and woodland (93 per cent). Urban areas cover only five per cent of the catchment. Environmental designations: Eight Special Areas of Conservation, two National Nature Reserves, 46 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and 190 County Wildlife Sites. Geology: The south and north of the area are dominated by Devonian slates. To the east Bodmin Moor is mainly granite. Generally there is little surface geology and most of the region is underlain by solid rock. This means that there are a number of fast flashy catchments in the East Cornwall area, particularly on the north coast. Topography: The catchment includes landscape ranging from rocky coastline to undulating farmland. Most of the catchment is rolling grassland, valleys and heaths. A number of rivers fall from St Breock Downs in the west and from Bodmin Moor, which is the highest area (about 360 metres above sea level) in the east of the catchment. In the far north of the catchment a plateau of high ground gives rise to numerous short streams and rivers. A full description of the catchment can be seen in chapter 2 of the draft report. Map of the East Cornwall catchment showing the main towns and rivers 3
  4. 4. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 4 Flood risk now and how it’s managed We work with local authorities, water companies and other organisations to manage flood risk. We spend a significant amount each year on flood risk management but people, property and the environment remain at risk from flooding in parts of the catchment. Flooding in East Cornwall is mainly from rivers but there are also significant risks from the sea, sewage and highway drainage. Risks to people, property and infrastructure are concentrated in Wadebridge and Looe, with high numbers also at risk in Bude and Lostwithiel. • Managing development – Our development control team supports the planning process by ensuring that new developments have the appropriate flood risk assessments and follow PPS25 (Government Planning Policy Statement on flood risk). The average cost of flood damage to buildings is currently £22 million a year. In addition, several sites with environmental designations are affected by flooding. • Flood warning – A warning system is in place for several of the larger towns such as Wadebridge and Lostwithiel. There has been widespread flooding across the catchment, most notably in August 2004 when more than 60 properties were flooded in Boscastle and Crackington Haven and in December 1999 when many properties were flooded in Bude, Lostwithiel and Sladesbridge. • Flood defence schemes – We have large flood defence schemes in places such as Wadebridge, Bude, Sladesbridge and Polperro. Current flood risk management includes: • Risk mapping – A major part of the programme is the Flood Zone Improvements. This is focused on improving the mapping at high-risk places. • Maintenance – We spend more than £125,000 a year on maintaining channels and defences, with local authorities carrying out a large amount of further work. This includes maintenance, monitoring and operating flood defence structures. A full explanation of current flood risks can be seen in chapter 3 of the draft report. The River Fowey overtops its banks at The Parade, Lostwithiel, in December 1999 4
  5. 5. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 5 What the future could bring We have investigated possible changes in the East Cornwall catchment and looked at the effects of climate change, urban development and other changes in land use. Our conclusions from these studies are set out below. Climate change Climate change will bring more winter rainfall. Higher average summer temperatures will mean a greater risk of thunderstorms and flash flooding. Guidance from Defra suggests this could increase river flows by 20 per cent by 2100. Sea level is predicted to rise by more than 800mm (30in) by 2100 which will increase tidal flooding. Urban development The most significant increases in urban development are likely to be in Newquay and Bodmin. If not managed this could increase run-off and flood risk. Land use and management There is a strong link between how the land is used and managed and the run-off generated by a plot or individual field. However, we are still researching the effect that the use and management of rural land has on flooding at a catchment scale. There could be an increase in flow of about 10 per cent across East Cornwall by 2100 if changes in land use remain unchecked. Summary of key future flood risks Flood risk will increase. Bude, Bodmin, Looe, Lostwithiel, Wadebridge and Polperro are likely to experience the greatest flood risk. The detailed assessment of future flood risks can be found in chapter 4 of the draft report. A man struggles against floodwater sweeping through the centre of Polperro in December 1993 5
  6. 6. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 6 Above: A helicopter flies in to rescue people trapped in the Boscastle floods of August 2004 Photo: Pam Durrant Below: An engineer checks levels in the deepened channel of the River Valency at Boscastle in June 2007 – the Environment Agency is spending £4.6 million on improvements to reduce flood risk in the village, including deepening and widening the Valency, after completing flood risk improvements on the lower River Jordan 6
  7. 7. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 7 Our objectives for the catchment The main aim of the CFMP is to develop policies for flood risk management within the East Cornwall catchment now and in the future. We have developed detailed objectives for the management of flood risk in the catchment. We have used these to assess which policies are the most appropriate. Social objectives • Prevent injuries and loss of life from flooding. • Reduce flood risk to vulnerable communities and protect and improve recreation facilities where possible. Economic objectives • Reduce flood risk to residential, commercial and industrial property. • Reduce flood risk to critical infrastructure, in particular the A30, A38 and main railway line. • Minimise disturbance to agricultural land. Environmental objectives • Protect and work with natural river processes, and restore streams and rivers to their natural state • Protect and improve nationally-important wildlife sites and protected habitats and species. • Prevent pollution resulting from flooding of urban and agricultural land. • Protect the quality of land and encourage changes in land use management to reduce run-off. • Protect and enhance heritage features. • Protect and enhance landscape character and visual amenity. We have also considered what else is going on in the catchment that our objectives may help to achieve (the opportunities) and also what could limit our success in achieving them (the constraints). More detail of the objectives, opportunities and constraints for future management can be seen in chapter 5 of the draft report. This couple had to be rescued by helicopter from the roof of their bungalow after it was surrounded by floods from the River Neet in August 2004 7
  8. 8. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 8 Above: Shops sandbagged against floods on Fowey’s Town Quay in March 2006 Below: Church Square in Bodmin awash with floodwater in September 2003 8
  9. 9. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 9 How we chose policies We divided the catchment into policy units with similar flood risk characteristics. We then considered alternative policies for these units and decided which would best achieve the social, economic and environmental objectives. The following alternative policies (P1 to P6) were considered. These policies are being used for all CFMPs across England and Wales. P1 No active intervention This policy applies where there is little or no flood risk to people, property and the environment and no existing flood risk management. We will continue to monitor and advise. P2 Reduce existing flood risk management actions This policy means accepting the current and future increases in flood risk. It applies to areas where there is currently some flood risk management but existing and future risks are not enough to justify these activities. P3 Continue existing or alternative actions With this policy the current scale of flood risk management is sufficient. We accept that flood risk will increase over time and will not increase our activities to deal with this rise in risk. P4 Take further action to sustain the current scale of flood risk This policy applies where the current risk is acceptable but future changes are expected to have a significant impact. Flood risk management activities need to respond to the potential increases in flood risk. P5 Take further action to reduce flood risk This is a policy to reduce the risk where the consequences of flooding are currently too high and will continue to increase in the future. The action can include improving flood risk management and reducing, or even removing, development in the floodplain. P6 Take action to increase the frequency of flooding Risk will be reduced in the catchment overall by implementing this policy where an increase in the frequency, duration or magnitude of flooding will be beneficial. This is likely to apply to upper catchment areas where there are opportunities to restore the floodplain or there are environmental benefits such as habitat creation. Through storing water this policy can reduce risk downstream. This policy is not intended to increase risk to people and property. See plan on p10 showing policies chosen for each unit. Chapter 6 of the draft report has more detail on how and why we chose the policies for each unit. Left: Flooding from the Trenance Stream and high tide affects shops in the centre of Newquay in the 1960s 9
  10. 10. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 10 Policies for the catchment We have chosen the policies and policy units set out in the map below. 10
  11. 11. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 11 How we plan to manage flood risk We will meet the catchment objectives and deliver the policies by implementing the action plan outlined below. To achieve these actions we must work with other organisations including local authorities, Natural England and South West Water. Bodmin Moor – Policy 6 • Investigate flow storage by enhancing wetland in the Upper Fowey, and using Siblyback Reservoir, Colliford Lake and disused china clay workings. • Prepare Surface Water Management Plan for Wadebridge. • Create community-based tidal warnings. Gannel and Mawgan Vale – Policy 3 Fowey and Seaton Valleys – Policy 4 • Maintain existing standard of protection at Polperro. • Prepare Surface Water Management Plan for Liskeard. • Improve A38 drainage east of Bodmin. • Investigate the links between land management practices, run-off and flood risk. • Maintain existing defences at Mawgan Porth and St Columb Major. • Review flood risk in Newquay and ensure PPS25 is applied to new development. North Coast Rivers – Policy 4 • Maintain existing standard of protection for Boscastle. South Coast Tidal – Policy 5 • Investigate measures to reduce flood risk at Looe, Fowey and Seaton. • Review options to reduce flood risk at Lostwithiel. • Maintain existing tidal defences at Polperro. • Progress with the outcomes of the Rapid Response Catchment Study. • Raise and maintain awareness of flood risk and selfhelp measures. • Continue targeted channel maintenance. • Create community-based tidal warnings. • Investigate the links between land management practices, run-off and flood risk. Camel Valley – Policy 3 Bude and Stratton – Policy 5 • Maintain current scale of management in Camelford, Lanivet and Bodmin. • Review flood risk at Bude and undertake work to reduce risk if justified. • Investigate the links between land management practices, run-off and flood risk. • Maintain existing defences at Stratton, Flexbury and Helebridge. • Relocate Bodmin Fire Station in long term. • Create community-based tidal warnings. • Raise and maintain awareness of flood risk and selfhelp measures. Welcombe and Coombe Valleys – Policy 1 • No active intervention. Camel Tidal – Policy 5 • Maintain existing defences and improve flood warning at Sladesbridge. To find out how we would like each organisation to be involved in implementing these actions, please see chapter 7 of the draft report. • Review flood risk at Wadebridge and undertake work to reduce risk if justified. 11
  12. 12. TYPE_6_EAST_CORNWALL_V1.QXD 5/22/08 3:47 PM Page 12 Flooding from the River Gannel at Newquay in September 1974 – we plan to reduce the risk of floods like this Next steps We want your views on the draft plan and will consider them in the production of the final plan. Once we have published the East Cornwall CFMP, we will monitor how it is being used and that its policies and actions are being achieved. The CFMP will be a ‘living document’ that develops as we improve our understanding of flood risk and will be reviewed at least every six years. How to comment Your views are vital for our public consultation on this draft plan. It is available on a CD from Steve Stanbridge – to obtain a copy, email steven.stanbridge@environment-agency.gov.uk, call him on 01392 442152 or write to him at the address below. You can also study a printed copy of the draft plan at our Cornwall Area office at Sir John Moore House, Victoria Square, Bodmin. The office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. More information is available from our website, www.environment-agency.gov.uk/cfmp We will consider all comments we receive before 27 June 2008. Please email them to steven.stanbridge@environment-agency.gov.uk or post them to: Steve Stanbridge Environment Agency Manley House Kestrel Way Exeter EX2 7LQ GESW0508BMTS-E-P Editing & design: Westword Printed on Take 2 Silk made from post-consumer waste