Nottinghamshire County Council are leading on a Flood Mitigation Plan for Southwell and this will be developed based on the framework as set out in the Defra Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) Guidance (2010). The project is being managed by the County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority.
This is being called a Flood Mitigation Plan to make it clear that this covers all sources of flooding in the town and that it is actively seeking feasible and deliverable ways to reduce the risk of flooding occurring in future. The Flood Study, carried out by AeCOM will inform the Section 19 (Flood and Water Management Act, 2010) Flood Investigation for Southwell. The study includes:
- Working together to increase the understanding of sources of flooding in Southwell, how often flooding is likely to occur, what it will affect and feasible solutions to reduce the risk of flooding from all sources of flooding.
- Developing a Flood Mitigation Plan shared and agreed by the Project Partners and through engagement with the local community that will bring together information on flood risks, an assessment of flood mitigation options and an action plan setting out how feasible flood mitigation options will be implemented.
- A threshold survey of about 650 houses. This will make the computerised Flood Model more accurate than in 2007 (Halcrow report). We were pleased to hear that only a handful of residents declined access – mostly for reasons such as pets on the premises. The survey covered properties within key flood paths; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that houses that weren’t included in that survey are excluded from being considered as at risk of flooding.
The various project partners are well placed to lead on certain areas alongside providing information and advice. These partners are:
- Nottinghamshire County Council
- Newark and Sherwood District Council
- Environment Agency
- Severn Trent Water
- Trent Valley Internal Drainage Board
- Southwell Town Council
- Southwell Flood Forum
- Nottingham Trent University, Brackenhurst Campus – Natural Flood Management
- Initially AeCOM (ex URS), Flood Consultants produced a Flood Study and possible options – commissioned by the County Council on flood modelling, mapping and engineering options appraisal
- Early in 2016 JBA Flood Consultants took over this technical work
Funding for flood alleviation
Southwell’s flood alleviation scheme will cost approximately £1.875m.
Funding is based on a partnership funding policy, with contributions from a range of partners.
On 21st March 2014, as the Lead Flood Authority, Nottinghamshire County Council submitted a bid to the Environment Agency.
National Grant-in-Aid funding is based on the benefits a scheme delivers, i.e. the number of houses that can that benefit (from a reduced flood risk) from the implementation of capital schemes that are proposed from the mitigation plan that AeCOM, NCC and Forum members are working on.
It was confirmed at a meeting of the Trent Regional Flood and Coastal Committee on 3rd September 2014 that our bid for this funding has been put forward to the next stage and in the Autumn Statement 2014, The Chancellor confirmed that our bid was successfully included in the six-year Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Development Programme – England (see Development Programme page 3)
Others sources need to make up any gap in funding. This also increases our ‘partnership funding’ score that increases our priority nationally.
Any outside funding that we can bring into the scheme will have a considerable benefit on our ability to be able to deliver any capital projects because it improves our score in the funding bid.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s funding pledge is the largest and most important – in the region of £0.6M – which will go a long way for us to be able to influence the funding processes as far as DEFRA is concerned.
Newark and Sherwood District Council have confirmed they will contribute a commensurate amount.
Southwell Town Council have raised £60K so far through an increased precept. It’s vital that as a community we support this way of raising funds towards mitigation and encourage our elected members to maintain the precept at this level to show their support for this important issue in our town.
The shortfall of between £150K and £200K will need to be raised from local community and other sources. See Southwell Flood Fund
When the amount of Grant-in-Aid is confirmed, mitigation measures which have been suggested by the community, URS Consultants and NCC Flood Team will be fully tested using the Flood Model for effectiveness. There will still be a lot of preparatory work before any mitigation measures can be implemented, but with agreement from the Environment Agency and other partners it is hoped that some mitigation schemes could be implemented as early as 2015.