The Environment Agency has submitted two draft schemes to Defra proposing that the existing Pevensey Levels and River Cuckmere Internal Drainage Districts (IDDs) in East Sussex, and the East of Gravesend IDD in Kent are abolished and new IDDs with locally accountable Internal Drainage Boards governing them are created.
The new IDDs in North Kent and East Sussex will be the first IDDs to be created for 30 years. Local councils, landowners, Natural England and the Environment Agency, supported by ADA and neighbouring IDDs have worked hard together for around three years to overcome obstacles to making the proposals.
Between now and the creation of the IDDs they will continue to work with partner IDBs (Kings Lynn for the Pevensey and Cuckmere WLMD/B) to ensure arrangements are in place for a smooth transition to the new IDBs.
Pevensey & Cuckmere, East Sussex
The new IDD/IDB covering low-lying areas to the west and east of Eastbourne respectively. The new IDD/IDB should be created on 1 October 2016, will be called the Pevensey and Cuckmere Water Level Management District and Board respectively. The scheme has been advertised in the Sussex Express and on .gov.uk. Anyone wishing to comment on the scheme should do so in writing to Defra, by 22 May 2016, quoting reference number LDC 2503.
North Kent Marshes
The new IDD/IDB on the Hoo Peninsula, Kent will be called the North Kent Marshes IDD/IDB. This scheme will be advertised in the Sheerness Time Guardian and the Sittingbourne News Extra on the 27 April, the Kent Messenger on the 29 April and on .gov.uk on the 30 April. Anyone wishing to comment on this scheme should so in writing to Defra, by 30 May 2016, quoting reference LDC 2504.
Both the Pevensey and Cuckmere WLMD and the North Kent Marshes IDD will contain internationally important designated environmental sites including RAMSAR, SPA and SSSI sites.
Other EA administered IDDs in South East England
With the submission of these two schemes, Defra are now dealing with the abolition of all remaining Environment Agency administered IDDs. Schemes to abolish three IDDs in West Sussex and the River Ouse (Sussex) IDD in East Sussex were submitted in September 2015. There will be no new IDD for these areas and the Environment Agency is working with riparian landowners and local councils to ensure there is no significant increase in flood risk to people, properties, infrastructure or the environment as a result of the changes. At Amberley the Environment Agency has proposed to increase the lengths of several watercourses that are designated as a ‘main river’ to allow the Environment Agency to continue to manage these, after the River Arun IDD is abolished.
Several objections have been received particularly to the abolition of the River Arun IDD but the Environment Agency expect Defra to progress to second stage advertising shortly and for the IDDs to be abolished early in 2017.
Visit the webpage on Internal Drainage Districts in southern England on the Gov.uk website for the latest updates.
If you would like any further information on these changes please email: