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Flood and Water Management Act 2010

Section 27: Sustainable development

91.This section gives lead local flood authorities, district councils, internal drainage boards and highway authorities a duty to aim to make a contribution towards the achievement of sustainable development when discharging their flood or coastal erosion risk management functions (subsection (1)). This duty does not apply to the Environment Agency, which already has such a duty under section 4 of the Environment Act 1995. Nor does it relate to water companies as the water industry regulator, Ofwat, has such a duty which applies to its regulation of the industry.

92.Subsection (2) requires the Minister to issue guidance on how the specified authorities should contribute to the achievement of sustainable development through their flood or erosion risk management functions. It requires the specified authorities to have regard to the Minister’s guidance. The Minister already has a duty, under section 4 of the Environment Act 1995, to provide guidance to the Environment Agency on how it should exercise its functions so as to contribute to sustainable development.

93.For the purpose of this section, subsection (4) defines the term “flood risk management function” and subsection (5) defines “the Minister” as the Secretary of State in relation to English authorities and Welsh Ministers in relation to Welsh authorities. English authorities are lead local flood authorities, district councils and highways authorities for areas in England as well as internal drainage boards for a district which is mainly or wholly in England. Welsh authorities are lead local flood authorities or highways authorities for areas in Wales as well as internal drainage boards for a district which is wholly or mainly in Wales (subsection (6)).

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