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Agenda item

Flood Risk Alleviation


The Director of Finance and Business Improvement introduced the report and stated that the Medway Flood Partnership (MFP) had operated since 2017 and included the Local Authorities (LAs) in the Medway area, the Environment Agency and other public bodies. The MFP’s third year report was shown in Appendix A to the report.


The initiatives relating to the Borough were outlined as the Medway Flood Resilience Scheme, the works to the Bridge Gyratory Scheme, the works to reservoir safety in Mote Park and ongoing general maintenance works.


Following the 2013/14 flooding experience, large scale technical solutions were investigated but were found to be infeasible. The South East Rivers Trust (SERT) were proposing to complete three additional Natural Flood Measures (NFM) on behalf of the Council, in addition to the NFM’s that had been carried out on the Hogg Stream, Headcorn. A £50,000 contribution from the Council would be matched by £180,000 in funding accessible by the SERT.


The importance of Community resilience was highlighted given the flooding experienced in December 2020 and January 2021.


In response to questions, the SERT confirmed that approximately 40 leaky woody dams had been installed in the Hogg Stream, with a further 20-30 structures to be installed to increase the cumulative effect. The Environment Agency (EA) confirmed that flood maps were updated once the flooding events had been logged. The Committee highlighted the importance of local geographical knowledge.


The Director of Finance and Business Improvement confirmed that the £30,000 per annum allocated by the Council for ongoing maintenance works allowed for the completion of works that would normally be the landowner’s responsibility but were not being carried out. These works were carried out by Kent County Council (KCC) on behalf of the Council. If further funding was required, this could be assessed through the budget process.


In response to further questions, the Environment Agency confirmed that the flooding seen in Mallards Way and Mote Park was as a result of the insufficient bridge capacity. This could be increased, however the flood risk prioritisation to properties before footpaths was reiterated. In response to a separate question, the EA’s jurisdiction was restricted to main rivers, which made it difficult to enforce landowner responsibilities. Finally, in response to a question about removal of structures in the River Beult, the removal of any pre-existing measures would only take place if there was no additional flooding risk from doing so.


In response to a question about flood plains, the SERT stated that historically they had always absorbed excess water from overflowing rivers and streams, hence their name. The use of unoccupied flood plains to hold water benefitted the land by carrying nutrients.


The Committee requested that there be increased engagement between Local Ward Members and the relevant authorities moving forward.




1.  The progress on flood management initiatives delivered by Maidstone Borough Council as part of the Medway Flood Partnership be noted; and


2.  The £50,000 be allocated for the Natural Flood Management scheme as described in both paragraph 2.17 and Appendix B to the report, subject to confirmation of match funding.


Note: Councillor Newton requested that his dissent be noted.

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