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Unfortunately, we will never be able to stop flooding from happening but we can try to understand the risk better and attempt to reduce the risk to people and property.
As a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) one of the Council’s new responsibilities is a duty to investigate flood events that occur within in its area as it deems necessary.

Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 outlines that:
(1) On becoming aware of a flood in its area, a lead local flood authority must, to the extent that its considers necessary or appropriate, investigate which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions, and whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised , or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood

(2) Where an authority carries out investigation under sub section (1) it must: publish the results of its investigation, and notify any relevant risk management authorities While each flood incident will be assessed, the council will determine if formal investigation is necessary and the need to investigate a particular flood is determined on case by case basis considering factors such as the likely source of the flood and the number of properties affected.

As there is no currently available national definition for Local Significant Harmful Consequence, the council has established guidelines, based on the Council’s published Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA), to help determine if formal investigation is required. These guidelines will remain under review.

Risk Category and Impact

  • Risk to loss of life - All Incidents
  • Residential Property - Flooding more than 15 People or Five or more properties flooded internally above ground floor level in one location

Critical Services/Installations

  • Hospitals, Health Centres, Clinics, Surgeries, Pharmacies, Care Homes - more than one property marooned or flooded above ground floor level and / or One of more facilities rendered inoperable due to impassable access.
  • Village & Parish Halls; Schools, Colleges, Day Nurseries; Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance Stations; - More than one flooded critical installations resulting in loss or potential loss of service or causing or potentially causing flooding to other property. 
  • Electricity stations and substations, gas stations, sewerage treatment and pumping stations, water treatment and pumping stations

Commercial Property:

Shops/supermarkets/retail premises, Manufacturing premises, Offices - More than two properties flooded above ground floor level in one location.


  • Motorway or Strategic Route - Any section impassable due to flooding for 2 or more hours.
  • Environment and Heritage Sites - Subject to local assessment.

Where a formal investigation is instigated these reports will include the following:

  • The reason for investigating including incident details
  • Site location
  • Number of properties internally flooded
  • Closures of any highways
  • The depth, area or velocity of flooding reported
  • The nature or extent of critical infrastructure impacted by the flood
  • Watercourse and drainage system
  • Previous flood incidents
  • The rainfall event
  • Possible causes
  • Responsibilities
  • Actions