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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09116: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 2 May 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what conditions it considers for settlements to be reviewed as requiring Potentially Vulnerable Status, in light of section 15 of the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009, where the Scottish Ministers have the power to direct, review and, where appropriate, update the document approved under section 13, the identification of Potentially Vulnerable Areas, in periods of less than six years.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 11 May 2017

The approach that was agreed and consulted upon is that the National Flood Risk Assessment (NFRA) and the identification of Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) will be reviewed and re-published within each six year planning cycle. Whilst Scottish Ministers have a power under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 (the Act) to direct SEPA to review and, where appropriate update the document which identifies PVAs at other times outwith this six year cycle, there are no plans to use this power.

The Act created a new framework for the assessment and management of flood risk to reduce the risk of flooding from all sources, as far as is reasonable, taking full account of environmental, economic and social priorities. This meant moving away from short-term reactive decisions based on the latest flood event, and embracing long-term proactive planning and investment decisions.

The current legislation requires SEPA to review, update where appropriate, and submit to Scottish Ministers the document identifying the PVAs by 22 September 2018.