Section 79 – Powers of entry
219.This section creates powers for SEPA and local authorities to enter land for the purposes of carrying out some of their functions under the Act. It also gives local authorities power to enter land for the purposes of maintaining flood prevention schemes confirmed under the 1961 Act. The power to enter land includes a power to enter buildings because “land” is defined in the Interpretation Order(6) to include buildings and other structures.
220.Subsection (1) allows any person authorised by SEPA to enter any land for the purposes of carrying out some of SEPA’s flood risk management functions under Part 3 of the Act (sections 9, 10, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27 and 33). This allows SEPA to survey land in order to check the accuracy of information which it is using to prepare flood risk management documents. The section also allows SEPA to enter land in order to assess flood risk (section 73) and to provide, alter and maintain flood warning systems (section 76).
221.Subsection (2) allows any person authorised by a local authority to enter any land for the purpose of preparing maps of bodies of water under section 17 or assessing those bodies of water under section 18. Where the local authority is a lead authority within the meaning of section 34 they may also enter land for the purpose of preparing a local flood risk management plan under section 34 or a report under section 37 or 38. Subsection (2) also allows them to enter land on which scheme operations, temporary works, emergency flood protection work, maintenance operations or clearance and repair works are to be carried out under Part 4 of the Act. Land may also be entered for the purposes of determining whether any function conferred by or under that Part is to be exercised.