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The law in Scotland

The main law dealing with flooding in Scotland is the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009. This Act covers the following things:

  • It sets up a system for assessing flood risk and managing it sustainably (thus transposing the European Union's Floods Directive into Scottish law). A national flood risk management plan produced by SEPA and approved by Scottish Ministers sets the overall national priorities for flood risk management in Scotland. Local authorities are responsible for producing and implementing local flood risk management plans in their areas.
  • It gives local authorities powers to manage flood risk by building flood defences and making flood protection schemes. This replaces the old system of 'flood prevention schemes' under the Flood Prevention (Scotland) Act 1961, which is now repealed.
  • It updates the law on flood warning systems operated nationally by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, replacing the existing provisions in section 25 of the Environment Act 1995.
  • It gives property-owners a right to compensation from SEPA (in the case of a flood warning system) or from the local council (in the case of flood defences or a flood protection scheme), if their property has dropped in value, or their enjoyment of their property has been disturbed. (Any existing rights to compensation from flood prevention schemes under the 1961 Act are not affected by the repeal of that Act.)

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