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Implementation of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009: Annual Report to the Scottish Parliament - 2010


17. Next steps

This report has highlighted key steps in the Government's work with a wide range of stakeholders to promote the quality of the water environment and protect Scotland's communities from the threat of flooding. As these policies are progressed further these connections will be increasingly pressed. Examples of key tasks in 2011 include:

CAR development

In October 2010, the Scottish Government consulted stakeholders on a range of amendments to CAR. These amendments will absorb the requirements of the Environmental impact assessment ( EIA) Directive on agricultural irrigation into CAR, and introduce fast-track provisions for action to be taken in emergency situations, improving transparency and further supporting the Scottish Government's Better Regulation Agenda. As a number of amending instruments reflecting policy developments have been made since CAR was introduced, these have now been drawn together into a single consolidated version of CAR. The new version of CAR will come into force on 31 March 2011.

Issue designation order on flood risk functions

Work to develop a designation order establishing additional responsible authorities for flood management is underway. The key organisations being considered are British Waterways and Forestry Commission Scotland. The designation order will also set out the flood risk function of SEPA, the Scottish Ministers and all responsible authorities. This work provides an important opportunity to clarify key responsibilities.

A framework for integrated urban drainage

Working with key partners, the Government will look to publish a policy statement on improving the management of urban water environments and urban drainage by providing a clear overarching framework that will develop a shared understanding of the roles and responsibilities in tackling surface water flooding problems. This work will link closely with the sustainable flood risk management guidance.

Appraising flood management options

Plans and schemes to manage flood risk must undergo an appraisal process to ensure that investment is targeted towards those actions that are value for money and deliver the greatest benefits for society as a whole. The Government is reviewing existing guidance on appraising flood management actions to ensure that it is consistent with the aims of sustainable flood risk management, and promotes close interaction between the appraisal of strategic plans and appraisals of individual schemes.

Planning advice notes

Planning decisions are an integral part of any development or re-development process, providing an opportunity to assess and build in integrated flood drainage and flood management actions to any urban planning process. To help deliver this, the Scottish Government is about to commence work on a consolidated Planning Advice Note ( PAN) to replace the existing PAN 61 on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. PAN 69 on Flooding and PAN 79 on Water and Drainage.

The consolidated PAN will provide the opportunity to present relevant, up to date planning advice which supports the principles of the FRM Act. All relevant stakeholders will be involved in taking this work forward.