Flood fears won't hit Waterfront

DEVELOPMENT along Ipswich's waterfront will not face opposition as long as flood risk guidelines are followed, a government body claimed today.The Environment Agency insists it will act “pragmatically” in giving advice to the council's planning authority in charge of deciding whether certain buildings can be constructed in flood risk areas, such as the waterfront.

DEVELOPMENT along Ipswich's waterfront will not face opposition as long as flood risk guidelines are followed, a government body claimed today.

The Environment Agency insists it will act “pragmatically” in giving advice to the council's planning authority in charge of deciding whether certain buildings can be constructed in flood risk areas, such as the waterfront.

Its assertion is in response to recent concerns by developers about delays to construction due to the change in planning regulations.

New developers now have to comply with a more stringent flood risk assessment, which means that those looking to build residential properties in particular have to come up with innovative ideas to ensure people are protected during a flood and have safe access routes to dry land.


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Simon Barlow, development control team leader at the Environment Agency, said: “We have not advised any developer that their development on the Ipswich waterfront will have to wait until 2012 [when the flood barrier is due to be built] as this is not a relevant comment in planning and flood risk terms.

“We translate government policy provided to local planning authorities on development in flood risk areas into specific guidance for use in their planning decisions whilst ensuring that developers assess the risk of flooding to all new development.

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“We aim to ensure that all new development meets minimum safety criteria and if it does, then we will not stand in its way.

“We are a statutory consultee to the local planning authority and take this role very seriously, but we will not just attempt to prevent development.”

Ipswich's flood barrier is still on target to be set up by 2012 but for now, the Environment Agency has to look at planning applications without making assumptions about any future flood defences.

What do you think of the proposed developments at the waterfront? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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