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You are here:home > Environment > Climate change and flooding > Lead Local Flood Authority

Lead Local Flood Authority

Lead Local Flood Authorities

All Unitary Authorities and two tier County Councils are now Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs). Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, LLFAs have been assigned a number of duties (which we have to undertake) and powers (which we may undertake) relating to the management of local flood risk.

Local flood risk includes sources of flooding from:

• Groundwater - caused when the water levels in the ground rise above the surface level mainly as a result of prolonged rainfall causing the ground to become saturated.

• Surface water (rainfall) - when water flowing over surfaces that cannot easily absorb water, such as roads and roofs, overwhelms the drainage network and accumulates on the surface.

• Ordinary watercourses - when any watercourse which is not classed as a main river such as a culvert or stream, cannot cope with large volumes of water during or after heavy rain.

Flood risk from the sea, main rivers and reservoirs remains the responsibility of the Environment Agency and not that of the LLFA.

The duties assigned to the LLFA are:

• To develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management in its area.
• To establish and maintain a register and record of structures or features which are likely to have a significant effect on flood risk in its area.

These are both currently being developed.

LLFAs have the powers to:

• Do works to manage flood risk
Investigate flooding incidents
• Designate structures/features which affect flood risk
• Request information from a person in connection with our flood risk management functions

Another function assigned to the LLFA relates to Ordinary Watercourse regulation, which includes:

• Consenting organisation for land drainage consent as required under Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.
• Power to serve notice on riparian landowners along ordinary watercourses who need to carry out maintenance to reduce flooding.
• Power to serve notice on a person to abate a nuisance in relation to an ordinary watercourse where that nuisance is an obstruction erected, raised or altered or any culvert erected or altered without prior consent as required under Section 23 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.

Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment

The Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) is a summary of flood risk from local sources in Southampton and will feed into the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. The assessment provides a high level summary of significant flood risk from surface water, ordinary watercourses and groundwater and describes both the probability and harmful consequences of past and future flooding.

The assessment takes account of:

• Topography,
• The location and characteristics of watercourses,
• The location of homes and economic activity, and
• The predicted impact of climate change.

The Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment has been complied using readily available information from a number of sources, including the Environment Agency’s national datasets and existing local products (e.g. the Surface Water Management Plan and Strategic Flood Risk Assessment). A copy of the PFRA is available to download from the downloadable documents section on this page.

More information on the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 and the PFRA is available by following the link to the Environment Agency at the bottom of this page.

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS)

The LFRMS should outline the LLFAs approach to local flood risk management both now and in the future, and is a key requirement of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

The LFRMS must specify:

(a) The risk management authorities in the authority's area,
(b) The flood and coastal erosion risk management functions that may be exercised by those authorities in relation to the area,
(c) The objectives for managing local flood risk (including any objectives included in the authority's flood risk management plan prepared in accordance with the Flood Risk Regulations 2009),
(d) The measures proposed to achieve those objectives,
(e) How and when the measures are expected to be implemented,
(f) The costs and benefits of those measures, and how they are to be paid for,
(g) The assessment of local flood risk for the purpose of the strategy,
(h) How and when the strategy is to be reviewed, and
(i) How the strategy contributes to the achievement of wider environmental objectives.

In addition to meeting the above requirements, the LFRMS must be consistent with the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, approved by Parliament in July 2011.

Development on the Southampton Local Flood Risk Management Strategy formally commenced in autumn 2012 and it is anticipated that a final draft for public consultation will be ready by autumn 2013.

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