Court battle over Manchester Ship Canal food risk zone

Posted: 26/06/2012

The Manchester Ship Canal is controlled by the Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd, which was taken to court by Peel Land and Property over a disagreement over the land categorisation and flood defences.

Peel Land and Property owns 2.47 acres of land next to the Manchester Ship Canal which it wants to develop but the area has been classed as part of the high risk Flood Zone 3.

The Manchester Ship Canal Company claims that the land that Peel Land and Property owns is directly within the vicinity of their sluices which regulate the water level along the 36 mile long canal and are classed as a ‘formal’ rather than a ‘de facto’ flood defences, meaning the avoidance of flooding is a secondary purpose of the sluices.

According to the national guidance, a formal flood defence can be disregarded when assessing for flood risk. However, when a development was proposed along the Manchester Ship Canal near Trafford, where 1,500 new homes would have been built, the agency classed the land as a high risk Flood Zone 3, preventing the development getting the going ahead.

Peel Land and Property took the Manchester Ship Canal Company to a London High Court for the judge to decide whether the sluices are a ‘formal’ or ‘de facto’ flood defence, therefore whether they could develop the land they own.

The judge decided that the sluices had not been correctly categorised and were not used as a flood defence. She stated that the purpose of the slucies is to regulate water levels in the canal, not to spread the water over land in the event of a flood.

The judge pointed out that, ‘It was irrational for the Agency to conclude that the sluices came within the description of 'formal defences.'

The effect of this misinterpretation resulted in significant areas of land alongside the canal being incorrectly designated. The Environment Agency claims that the judgment will have policy implications on their national flood and coastal risk management policy. The Manchester Ship Canal Company is considering appealing against the judge’s decision.

If you would like to find out if your home or a property you’re looking to purchase is in a flood risk area, you can order a Groundsure Floodsearch from Pali for only £22.20. The GroundSure Floodsearch includes a wide range of data that considers many types of flood risks.

If your interested in ordering or would like to know more about a Full Environmental Report or a Groundsure Floodsearch, please call Pali on 0151 691 1170.

Do you agree with the judges decision or do you side with the Manchester Ship Canal Company and think it would be hazardous to build so close to the canal?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments Environment Agency, court, Peel Holdings, development, flooding, flood, Manchester

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