To receive a report of The Chief Planning Officer and The Chief Highways Officer which provides the Community Committee with information on the flood risk in Outer North West. The report also provides details of Storm Eva.
The Chief Planning Officer and The Chief Highways Officer submitted a report which provided the Community Committee with information on the flood risk in Outer North West. The report also provides details of Storm Eva.
Tim Hill (Chief Planning Officer) Wynne Floyd (Technical Services Manager) Russell Martin (Highways Maintenance Manager) were in attendance to answer Members’ questions.
Wynne Floyd (Technical Services Manager) addressed the Committee providing further details about Storm Eva and the work done with the Flood Action Group in Otley to mitigate against flooding in the area.
Members discussed the role of the Flood Action Group and the possible flood alleviation schemes. Members noted that some gullies appeared to be blocked and considered that un-blocking these would be beneficial.
Members gave consideration to the impact of further development in the outer north west area and felt that more development in flood prone area would have a detrimental effect on the flooding of the area following sustained periods of heavy rain.
Members highlighted the difficulties of getting organisations such as Yorkshire Water to take responsibility for aspects of the infrastructure surrounding the movement of water. Members agreed that work needed to be done to improve relationships between the Council and Yorkshire Water.
Members asked officers about the warning given to residents and the availability of sandbags. It was confirmed that residents were warned about Storm Eva but at the timing of the storm on Boxing Day was not helpful.
The Committee requested information on the numbers of residents still not back in their own properties
Tim Hill (Chief Planning Officer) addressed the Committee highlighting the work done between the Environment Agency and the Planning Department. Mr Hill went on to explain the differences between the surface water system and the foul water system and how both systems cope when under severe pressure from rain storms.
Members considered the importance of ensuring that any future development in the outer north west area had sufficient drainage capacity to cope with heavy persistent rain.
Members discussed how local and national planning policy would be determined by the outcome of the Environment Agencies determination of the type of event the flood was.
Members highlighted a number of sites within the Site Allocation Plan which were renowned for flooding and expressed concern about development on such sites. It was confirmed to the Committee that if sites are developed they would include a full drainage system.
Members raised concerns about developers getting planning permission to build in areas prone to flooding and considered it important that the Planning Service effectively challenged such applications. However it was accepted by the Committee that there were engineering solutions to most sites prone to flooding.
The Chief Planning Officer commented that local and national policy is followed at all times and that Leeds took more enforcement action than most other local authorities.
The Committee discussed the likelihood of another flood, the classifications given to it by the Environment Agency and what lessons could be learned by the Environment Agency following Storm Eva.
Members requested information about the number of sites where surface water run off goes directly into a stream.
Russell Martin (Highways Maintenance Manager) addressed the Committee informing Members that his team repairs gulleys and drains that are identified as not working by the Environmental Services Team.
Members discussed various roads that flood when it rain and sought advice on whether any further action could be taken to mitigate against this.
The problems of drains being blocked by chippings caused by surface dressing road was discussed by Members
The Committee sought clarity on which departments provided which services so that they could direct residents effectively when issues relating to flooding occur.
Members raised concerns about the reputational damage to the Council if there were not enough staff with enough equipment to manage flooding and drainage issues.
RESOLVED – The Committee resolved to:
(a) note the contents of the report;
(b) request that the number of residents still not living back in their properties be circulated to Members of the Committee; and
(c) request information about the number of sites where surface water run off goes directly into a stream;