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Flood and Water Management Act 2010

 “Responsible authority”

102.Paragraph 2 ensures that once a feature has been designated, the “responsible authority” (beside the owner) has an ongoing and exclusive role in exercising functions in respect of the feature. It is the responsible authority that will monitor and enforce the designation and it is the responsible authority that has the power to consent to the alteration, removal or replacement of a feature.

103.In effect, the designating authority becomes the responsible authority once the designation has been confirmed (by the issue of a designation notice). However, it is possible for an authority to enter into arrangements with other relevant authorities to carry out functions on its behalf. An example of this might be the establishment of a single designating unit for an area in the spirit of co-operation and the interests of efficiency. The relevant provisions can be found at section 13.

104.A designation will be made as part of an authority’s risk management activity; authorities may not transfer their designations to another authority except in exceptional circumstances. Specifically, a designation may be adopted by another authority with relevant functions if the responsible authority ceases to have relevant functions itself: the relevant functions will be in respect of the risk the designated feature affects. There are specific circumstances when this may be the case, for example if a new unitary authority is established for an area which necessitates a transfer of responsibilities from a former district authority to a newly established unitary authority.

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