Under the Flood and Water Management Act (2010), Bath & North East Somerset Council is designated as the Lead Local Flood Authority for the area and has certain responsibilities for managing flood risk from ‘local’ sources. In the Act, ‘local’ sources of flooding are defined as flooding from:
- surface water;
- groundwater; and
- ordinary watercourses.
The Lead Local Flood Authority has a number of duties, powers and responsibilities. All of these are set out at the end of this page. Specific projects are highlighted below.
Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (2015-2025)
In partnership with others, Bath and North East Somerset Council has developed a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, which outlines how local flood risk will be managed up to 2025. The Strategy includes an itemised and prioritised Action Plan that details the steps that the Council and others will take to manage local flood risk.
The purpose of the Bath & North East Somerset Local Flood Risk Management Strategy is to ensure that:
- local flood risk is managed through a coordinated approach, and;
- communities, businesses and individuals are more aware of the risks of flooding, understand who in responsible for dealing with flooding, and are clear about the actions they can take to manage the risk of flooding.
Surface Water Managment Plan (2015)
A Surface Water Management Plan is a study to understand the flood risk that arises from local flooding, which is defined by the Flood and Water Management Act as flooding from surface runoff, groundwater, and Ordinary Watercourses. This Plan is being used to help identify and manage flood risk from local sources within the Bath and North East Somerset area.
Surface Water Management Plan (main doc) (PDF)
Appendix B – Interactive Map of Local Flood Incidents Note: The Interactive Map of Local Flood Incidents must be used with Internet Explorer.
Appendix F – Infiltration Potential Maps (PDF 20Mb)
(Other appendicies available on request)
Ongoing land drainage schemes
The Drainage and Flooding team at Bath and North East Somerset Council have a rolling programme of land drainage improvement works to reduce the risk of flooding to infrastructure and property. Visit the News page to see some of the latest improvement works.
Ensuring ordinary watercourses are free of blockages
Regular maintenance works undertaken on Ordinary Watercourses helps ensure the free flow of water in these watercourses. This is necessary to alleviate flooding and to assist land drainage. The Lead Local Flood Authority has identified 37 reaches of Ordinary Watercourses where clearance is required to reduce the risk of property flooding. These reaches are maintained on an annual basis. Furthermore, the Lead Local Flood Authority undertakes reactive maintenance works on trash screens to reduce the risk of blockage.
It should be noted that legal responsibility for the maintenance of watercourses falls to the 'Riparian Owner'. Find out more about watercourse flooding and Riparian ownership.
Under the Land Drainage Act (1991) Part II, section 23 ‘No person shall erect any mill, dam weir or other like obstruction to the flow of an ordinary watercourse or raise or otherwise alter any such obstruction'. As such, the Lead Local Flood Authority has a duty to consent works, and a power to undertake enforcement, on Ordinary Watercourses under changes to the Land Drainage Act (1991) (sections 23, 24 and 25).
Ensuring new developments do not increase local flood risk
The Lead Local Flood Authority is a statutory consultee for all major planning applications. In order to fulfil this duty, the Drainage and Flooding team review all major planning applications, and also review all minor applications that are located in areas at risk of local flooding. Read more about planning and development.
The Lead Local Flood Authority has a duty to record and investigate significant flooding events (regardless of source) under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act (2010). There is no national definition of significant and it is up to the Lead Local Flood Authority to decide what flooding incidents are locally important to them and are worth recording and investigating. Any of the following reports of lfooding will trigger an investigation and be classified as significant:
- five or more dwellings at an urban location experience internal property flooding;
- two or more dwellings at a rural location experience internal property flooding;
- where the event resulted in a loss of life, or;
- where critical infrastructure (e.g. power station, pump station, electricity supply, critical transport route) was affected by flooding for a significant period of time.
The investigations will identify which Risk Management Authority is responsible for the flood incident. The relevant Risk Management Authority will then be required to prepare a report detailing the cause of flooding, the consequences of the flood event and the actions taken to deal with the event during and after the flooding.
The subsequent reports will also include further recommendations for future flood risk management actions that could be undertaken to address and resolve flooding. Reports will be available to anyone on request within three months of an incident being reported to the Lead Local Flood Authority. However, there are cases where this timeframe will be extended (e.g. if widespread flooding occurred across the area).
If your property has flooded, find out how you can report a property flooding incident
Previous flood investigations
If you would like a printed copy of any of these reports please email email@example.com
For the latest developments in the Chew Valley visit the Chew Valley Flood Forum at (http://www.cvff.info/latest-news)
Maintaining a flood risk asset register
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Flood Risk Asset Register includes features or structures, which in the opinion of the Lead Local Flood Authority, could have an effect on flood risk.
Examples may include culverts, drainage ditches, highway drainage features and embankments. They can be natural or man-made.
The public register contains basic information about the structures and features deemed to have an impact on flood risk, such as location and type of structure.
The register does not show every drainage asset in Bath & North East Somerset, and none of the data can be guaranteed for accuracy. The information is based on best available knowledge, which is derived from various sources including drainage survey reports, routine maintenance inspections and local knowledge. Consequently, confidence in the data is variable.
The asset register will be updated regularly, and additional information will be added as it is identified and verified.
Further detail on individual assets should be sought from the organisation responsible for maintenance. For general advice on data quality or other aspects of the Flood Risk Asset Register, please contact the Drainage & Flooding Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish for more information don’t hesitate to contact the Drainage and Flooding team.
Highway maintenance and drainage
The Council, as the Local Highway Authority, has a duty to maintain adopted highways and ensure they are safe for traffic. Visit the Highway Drainage pages to find out how highway drainage is managed in Bath and North East Somerset.
The Council, as the Emergency Planning Authority has responsibility to plan for and respond to flood emergencies as a Category 1 responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Find out more about the Council’s role in a flooding emergency on the Emergency Planning pages.
Lead Local Flood Authoriy Duties
- develop, maintain, apply and monitor a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, which is consistent the national flood and coastal erosion management strategy;
- act consistently with the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and national flood and coastal erosion management strategy;
- upon becoming aware of a flood, the Lead Local Flood Authority must, to the extent it considers necessary or appropriate, investigate which authority has flood risk management responsibilities and whether that authority has or is proposing to exercise those function;
- co-operate with risk management authorities for the purposes of managing flood or coastal erosion risk;
- maintain a register of structures or features which are considered to significantly affect flood risk;
- responsible for consenting third party works on ordinary watercourses;
- statutory consultee for surface water drainage proposals for major planning applications, and;
- contribute towards achievement of sustainable development;
Lead Local Flood Authoriy Powers
- to do works to manage flood risks from surface runoff and groundwater;
- designate structures and features that affect flooding;
- request information from any person with respect to flood and coastal erosion;
- sanction persons who do not provide information following a request for information;
- enforcement where works have been completed without a necessary consent, and;
- enforcement to maintain a proper flow on ordinary watercourses.
Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment
- management and co-ordination of local flood risk, bringing together all relevant bodies to help manage local flood risk