Call for guidance over flood risks

A CALL for more guidance on flood risk guidelines for the Waterfront at Ipswich to make it easier for developers, has been made by the town leader today.

A CALL for more guidance on flood risk guidelines for the Waterfront at Ipswich to make it easier for developers, has been made by the town leader today.

Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, has called for the Environment Agency to be given additional guidance by Defra (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) about new stringent guidelines to assess flood risk in the town.

The Evening Star reported yesterdaythat there are fears a major part of the University Campus Suffolk development could be delayed until funding of the £40million flood barrier scheme has been agreed along with its design.

Mrs Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We are not like Gloucestershire here with our flooding. We are talking about a tidal surge and that is why the Environment Agency should have better guidelines. I feel sorry for the planners.”

A change to planning regulations in recent years means new developers now have to comply with a stringent flood risk assessment.

UCS say its planners are designing their waterfront buildings along Orwell Quay on the assumption that the flood defences will not be improved however the Environment Agency insist their intention is these will be in place by 2012.

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Although UCS says this does not mean the buildings will not be constructed in time, a spokeswoman admitted there could be delays to the planning processes. Planning permission has not yet been made.

She claimed it is still on track to complete its dedicated student accommodation on University Quays (formerly Orwell Quays), from summer 2009 and plans for new academic buildings on University Quays in 2010.

A spokeswoman for UCS said: “The planning processes may be longer and more complex which may result in a delay. There will not be a delay to the building though. We are still very much on track for that.”

Yesterday in the Evening Star Neil Jackson, director of estates for UCS, said its 1,200 student flats and 1,800sqm of academic space due to built along Orwell Quay could not go ahead until funding for the flood barrier is secured.

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