Sir Michael Pitt was asked by Ministers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Communities and Local Government to conduct an independent review of the flooding emergency that took place in June and July 2007.
The Government asked that the process should be both thorough and independent, a fair assessment of what happened and what we might do differently.
The Pitt Review emphasises the need for Local Authorities to manage Flood Risk as well as work with all relevant parties and re-recognise that local government and society must value more highly the importance of technical and engineering skill.
The review identified the need to understand the nature of surface water flooding at a fundamental level. ‘It is where surface water goes to that determines the destiny of proposed developments as well as how existing developments are to be managed’.
Pitt believes that the role of Local Authorities should be enhanced to take on responsibility for leading the coordination of surface water flood risk management as well as improving knowledge of all flood risk in their areas.
Local Authorities are to play a proactive role in the new approach outlined in the review. In particular the report’s recommendations 14 – 19 (below) highlight this role:
Recommendation 14: Local Authorities should lead on the management of local flood risk, with the support of the relevant organisations.
Recommendation 15: Local Authorities should positively tackle local problems of flooding by working with all relevant parties, establishing ownership and legal responsibility.
Recommendation 16: Local Authorities should collate and map the main flood risk management and drainage assets (over and underground) including a record of their ownership and condition.
Recommendation 17: All relevant organisations should have a duty to share information and cooperate with Local Authorities and the Environment Agency to facilitate the management of flood risk.
Recommendation 18: Local Surface Water Management Plans, as set out under PPS25 and coordinated by Local Authorities, should provide the basis for managing all local flood risk.
Recommendation 19: Local Authorities should assess and if appropriate, enhance their technical capabilities to deliver a wide range of responsibilities in relation to local flood risk management.
By responding to the recommendations of the Pitt Review, Local Authorities will:
- Work with all relevant parties to develop a proactive and holistic approach to flood risk in their area resulting in more effective and economic planning and management
- Have a fully integrated view of the flood risk management and drainage assets for their local area and to manage the ongoing planning process effectively with respect to flood risk
- Develop and prioritise a list of cost effective improvements, which can be made to reduce the flood risk across the region
- Have improved working relationships with stakeholders and the local community
- Have clear and quantified assessments of flood risk from all sources
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How We Can Help
As experts in water management we have the knowledge and technical ability to help Local Authorities respond to the recommendations of the Pitt Review. The key services we provide are:
- Undertaking audits/surveys of local drainage systems
- Preparing Surface Water Management Plans (SWMP) of the local area
- Technical assistance to understand surface water flooding (e.g. drainage exceedance modelling to determine flood volumes, velocities and mapping of flood flow routing)
- Design of Sustainable Drainage Solutions
- Improvement of drainage systems generally
- The integration of sustainable flood risk management into urban design
- The preparation of Flood Warning Evacuation Plans
- The development of a ’joined up’ approach to flood management (i.e. assist in dealing with various stakeholders in the development of a workable flood management strategy at local level)
- Ensuring compliance with the Code for Sustainable Homes for new housing developments
- The provision of technical advice to communities at risk of flooding
- The provision of technical assistance to Local Planning Authorities with regard to Flood Risk Assessments submitted with planning submissions (e.g. auditing micro drainage submissions)
- Undertaking computer modelling of drainage networks including sewers and watercourses
- Cole Easdon Consultants are able to model in both 1D and 2D analysis formats in order to calculate overland flood flow paths as well as runoff depths and velocities