Leadsom announces £15m for natural flood management


The environment secretary has announced that £15m will be spent specifically on natural flood management (NFM) measures.

The announcement follows criticism earlier this week that the Government had not honoured pledges to fund NFM.

Answering questions in the House of Commons on Thursday (24 November) Andrea Leadsom described said ‘natural flood management—slowing the flow, and looking at ways to work with the contours of our environment to improve protection’ was vital. She said: ‘I can announce that we have been given £15m to invest in further projects to do just that.’

The river Aire in Leeds

A spokesperson for environment department Defra told Transport Network that further details of the spending will be announced in due course but stated that it is in addition to the £170m for flood resilience measures announced in the Autumn Statement.

Defa also provided more details of the additional spending announced by the chancellor.

Part of £100m spending to improve road resilience to flooding will be made available to areas that experienced severe flooding last winter, including in St Helens, Leeds and Bury.

Of £50m to fund rail resilience projects, £9.5m will be allocated to the Axe Valley (Devon), £10m to Dawlish, and £10m to Manchester.

It is not clear whether the spending for ‘Dawlish’ is the same £10m announced earlier this week to fund further planning work on improving the resilience of the rail line from Exeter to Newton Abbot.

The Department for Transport was unable to provide details or confirm that the specific areas would receive funding. A spokeswoman said: 'The plans are still being worked up.'

In addition, £20m will be spent by Defra or the Environment Agency by 2021 to build new flood defences in Burton, Otley (Leeds) and Stainforth (Doncaster), protecting over 5,000 homes and businesses, Defra said.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council told Transport Network: 'We are still awaiting details on both these announcements.'

The Defra spokesperson confirmed that the £170m represents a further tranche of the additional £700m announced by former chancellor George Osborne in April.

Approximately three quarters of that additional spending has now been allocated to flood defence and flood resilience projects, including the maintenance of existing defences.


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