The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is asking the public and businesses to share their views on shaping flood risk actions and objectives for Orkney and other high-risk areas of Scotland.
SEPA has launched a joint consultation with Orkney Islands Council and other local authorities, to help shape the direction and delivery of flood risk management across the country.
Actions to help tackle flooding in areas identified as being at the greatest risk are detailed in the consultation, which launches today (30 July). Members of the public and businesses have until 31 October to comment on it.
Scotland has been divided into 14 Local Plan Districts for flood risk management purposes. Orkney is one of these.
- You can find an overview of the Orkney district consultation – and have your say online.
- Before commenting, you might wish to look first at detailed information about flooding in the county and on eight areas identified as potentially vulnerable.
- An overview of the Scotland-wide consultation is also available online.
All responses received by 31 October will help inform the final flood risk management plans, previously called flood risk management strategies, and the local flood risk management plans.
Following feedback from this consultation, SEPA will publish a flood risk management plan for each of the 14 Local Plan Districts. Each plan will confirm the immediate priorities for flood risk management as well as set out the future direction to be taken by all responsible authorities.
There are currently 284,000 homes, businesses, and services at flood risk in Scotland and climate change is projected to increase this number by an estimated 110,000 by the 2080s.
SEPA’s chief executive officer Terry A’Hearn said: “We have seen the impacts of severe weather in Scotland over the last few days - flooding is a real threat to people and property.
“Climate change is one of the biggest contributors to future increased flooding in Scotland and reducing its impact requires knowledge and action. As we are currently in a climate emergency, these plans substantially pick up preparation for the increased flooding Scotland can expect with climate change.
“SEPA has a pivotal role in helping Scotland prepare more powerfully for future increased flooding and this consultation is an important opportunity for people across Scotland to have their say on how flood risk is managed in the future.
“We are urging everyone affected by flooding, whether it be their home, their local community or regular travel routes, to take part in this important consultation, which will help to shape how we cope with, and manage, flooding in Scotland in the future. This helps us establish where our coordinated and focused effort is most urgently needed.”
The highest priority communities across Scotland are set out in the consultation with a vision for how flooding should be managed within them. SEPA has been working in partnership with local authorities to identify the most suitable actions to manage flood risk, and this is targeted towards areas where it will be most effective based on improved knowledge of the sources and impacts of flooding.