Following a week of flood alerts and warnings across the country - the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and local authorities are calling on the public and businesses to share their views on shaping flood risk actions and objectives in high-risk areas across Scotland

  30 July 2021
SEPA has launched the joint consultation with local authorities, to help shape the direction and delivery of flood risk management across Scotland. Actions to help tackle flooding in areas identified as being at the greatest risk are detailed in the consultation, alongside information on where we can gain the most benefits from taking action. The consultation launches on 30 July and members of the public and businesses have until 31 October to comment on it.

All responses received by this date will help inform the final flood risk management plans, previously called flood risk management strategies and local flood risk management plans.

Scotland has been divided into 14 Local Plan Districts for flood risk management purposes.

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.

The State of the UK Climate 2020 Report published by the Met Office this week showed that 2020 was the UK’s fifth wettest year since records began, and six of the 10 wettest years have been since 1998.

SEPA CEO 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.

The first Flood Risk Management Plans for Scotland were published in December 2015.

SEPA, local authorities, Scottish Water and Transport Scotland, delivered the actions outlined in the plan, working across Scotland to warn people of potential flooding, and delivering flood protection measures to reduce the risk of flooding. They also helped to develop the understanding of current and future flood risk in Scotland to help people better prepare for flooding.

This second set of plans will build on the improved understanding of flood risk developed over the last six years to highlight actions for highest risk communities. A key focus of these plans is the development of community actions, to ensure that the proposed actions benefit the wider community.

A knowledge base will be developed which enables long term adaptation plans to be established.

These plans will identify what actions need to be carried out to protect the long-term future of communities and when they need to be implemented based on monitoring of the changing climate rather than a fixed timetable. 

To take part in the consultation, visit our consultation hub.