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Wales Coastal Flooding Review: Closure Report December 2017

Progress made since publication of the October 2016 Progress Report is captured in this final report which brings the Wales Coastal Flooding Review, undertaken following the 2013/14 coastal winter storms, to a close

Background

Following flooding of the North Wales coast on 5 December 2013 and the more widespread coastal storms of early January 2014, NRW, working with partners around Wales, completed a two stage review as instructed by the Minister for Natural Resources.

Phase 1 identified the impacts incurred during the storms and Phase 2 concluded with the identification of 47 individual recommendations (‘the Phase 2 Recommendations’). NRW then published a Delivery Plan in January 2015 that outlined how each of the recommendations could be taken forward.

Progression and delivery

At the time of the Wales Coastal Flooding Review: Delivery Plan publication in January 2015, some notable progress had already been made on the Phase 2 Recommendations of April 2014, whereby:

  • 5 were already complete
  • 35 were ongoing
  • 7 were yet to be commenced

Consistent progress was achieved in implementing the Delivery Plan throughout 2015/16. By the end of August 2016 and out of the 47 Phase 2 Recommendations:

  • 40 were complete
  • 7 were ongoing (with significant progress made since the 2013/14 winter)

As demonstrated within this Closure Report capturing progress to the end of August 2017 out of the 47 Phase 2 Recommendations:

  • 42 are complete
  • 5 are ongoing (with significant progress made since the 2013/14 winter)

This report provides a progress update on work undertaken between August 2016 and August 2017, demonstrating completion of a further 2 Recommendations and progress on the residual 5 Recommendations.

Out of the 42 completed Recommendations, tangible improvements are already benefitting the coastal flood and erosion risk management sector in Wales. Some of these have been listed within this report under the ‘Progress made through the Wales Coastal Flooding Review’ section. Realisation of the full benefits from all completed Recommendations will require further commitment and resources from all parties, including Welsh Government. There needs to be a sustained effort and continuous improvement to ensure that the intended outcomes are fully delivered.

Which Recommendations are still ongoing?

At the end of August 2017, only the following five Recommendations remain as ongoing:

  • Recommendation 5 (review guidance design of coastal standards and joint probability), is to be taken forward internally by Natural Resources Wales through integration of the outputs from the relevant England and Wales Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Research and Development programme project alongside business as usual activities
  • Recommendation 19 (continue to develop potential ‘impact scenario’ assessments, maps and/or statements) will be delivered in the medium to long term through the continuous development of the Flood Incident Management service in Natural Resources Wales
  • Recommendation 31 (a national dataset for all flood risk assets, across all key organisations) will require continued collaboration between Welsh Government and all Risk Management Authorities in Wales to share and securely store asset data. This work is progressing well with the National Asset Database, but will require sustained effort to satisfy completion of this Recommendation
  • Recommendation 33 (developments in the national coastal modelling and mapping programme) will require ongoing efforts to ensure Natural Resources Wales prioritises its mapping and modelling work on a risk basis, using the Communities at Risk Register. It is important that a national approach is also responsive to local priorities, where appropriate. This area is subject to continuous developments
  • Recommendation 41 (development of local adaptation ‘toolkit’, to assist communities predicted to experience coastal change) will require further liaison with the Wales Coastal Group Forum and the Coastal Groups in Wales to support creation of a toolkit for local coastal adaptation

Together, Risk Management Authorities in Wales and relevant partners will continue to action these ongoing Recommendations through business as usual activities where best possible.

Closure of the Wales Coastal Flooding Review

To conclude, the delivery and completion of 42 of the 47 Recommendations in three years has been a significant collective effort on the part of all Risk Management Authorities and partners in Wales. It is important that all partners continue to draw upon the learning experience of the Wales Coastal Flooding Review and its various benefits to support the practical delivery of a more resilient coastal flood and erosion risk management sector in Wales. This is an ongoing task, and one that will never be truly completed – there is always room for improvement.

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