Unearthed, Greenpeace report on Data from the Environment Agency. ‘Inspections found that more than 3,400 crucial flood defence assets across England were in poor condition last year, according to figures seen by Unearthed.

The finding comes as communities across the north grapple with the consequences of flooding, with 53 flood alerts active across England as of Sunday afternoon.

New data, obtained from the Environment Agency (EA) using Freedom of Information rules, shows that 3,460 “high consequence” flood defence assets were rated as being in poor or very poor condition in 2019/20. That’s 6% of all such assets in England, an increase on the previous year after many defences were damaged in last winter’s flooding.

“High consequence” assets are defined by the EA as “flood defence assets that contribute to managing flood risk in a location where the consequence on people and property of an asset failing is high”.’   Click here to read more

Defra responded  ‘Today The Guardian has reported (using the Unearthed article) on the condition of flood defences across England, stating that thousands of people and businesses are ‘at risk from ruined assets’. However, the article did not recognise that when defences are listed as below the required condition it does not necessarily mean that they have structurally failed, or that performance in a flood is compromised.

In addition, the article does not recognise that in Storm Christoph alone, the Environment Agency’s permanent flood defences performed effectively and protected 38,000 properties from the misery of flooding. During Storm Christoph, no properties were flooded due to the failure of permanent flood defences managed by the Environment Agency… click here to read more

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