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Have your say on managing flood risk

Residents, businesses and communities are being given the chance to have their say on new draft planning guidance on designing sustainable drainage systems and managing flood risk in Cambridgeshire.

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The Cambridgeshire Flood and Water Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is being produced by Cambridgeshire County Council (as the Lead Local Flood Authority) in conjunction with the county's five other local planning authorities.

The document will support policies in each local planning authority's Local Plan.

A six-week consultation on the draft SPD started on Friday (September 4) and runs until October 16.

Once finalised, developers will need to comply with the guidance when building new developments.

The guidance seeks to ensure that in the first instance new developments are located in areas which are at the lowest risk of flooding. Only where no other locations are available will higher risk areas be considered but these must be made safe and provide a wider benefit to the community which outweighs the risk.

The guidance also seeks to reduce the risk of flash flooding and surface water run-off from heavy rainfall by ensuring that larger developments have sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) which mimic natural drainage.

Features such as ponds, swales and gullies can help reduce flood risk as well as providing green areas that are good for plants, animals and people.

Councillor Will Sutton, Fenland District Council's Cabinet member responsible for planning, said: "A significant amount of new development will occur in Fenland and the rest of Cambridgeshire over the next 20 years and beyond. It must be appropriately located, well designed and managed and take account of climate change. We need to make sure that happens, which is why it' so important that we have the right guidance in place."

Tanya Sheridan, Head of Growth and Economy at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "Cambridgeshire's history is indelibly linked to reclaiming land from water through many ingenious schemes. Growth in Cambridgeshire needs to be sustainable and to this end we are consulting on guidance that helps manage flood risk in new developments. We are keen to get people's thoughts and comments on this over the next six weeks."

Feedback on the draft guidance can be made until 4.30pm on Friday, October 16. Comments can be made online, by email or in writing.

Article added September 8, 2015