Date lodged: 6 February 2019
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-02764 by Roseanna Cunningham on 16 January 2019, what its response is to concerns that people living in newly-appointed potentially vulnerable areas have reportedly stated that they have been given insufficient opportunity by SEPA to comment and that the maps used have been inaccurate regarding the areas at risk.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 26 February 2019
SEPA carried out a three month public consultation on the identification of Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) commencing on 1 May 2018 and this was promoted in a number of publications and through social media. There was also a radio campaign broadcasting throughout Scotland over this 3-month period. To ensure the outputs of the assessment were a fair reflection of flood risk within their areas, SEPA invited all 32 local authorities and other Responsible Authorities to attend one to one workshops prior to the consultation. In Aberdeenshire, SEPA supported the Council to notify community councils of the consultation and SEPA directly contacted a number of communities/individuals who had previously expressed an interest in the consultation.
The identification of PVAs by SEPA is based on the National Flood Risk Assessment 2018. This uses SEPA's flood maps, which have been supplemented with information given by local authorities and Scottish Water to identify what is at risk of river, coastal and surface water flooding. Having defined PVAs the next stage is for SEPA and local authorities to further develop their understanding of the nature of flood risk in those areas and identify what actions should be taken to reduce it. The results will then be presented for further public consultation before being reviewed and finalised. The information will then be published in the next Flood Risk Management Strategy in December 2021.