Flood risk management

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Cheshire East Council has been designated as a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA). As LLFA , we have powers and duties to manage flood risk from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.

Other responsibilities include:

  • investigating and recording incidents of ‘significant’ flooding
  • establishing and maintaining a register of structures or features which are considered to have an effect on flood risk
  • developing, maintaining, applying and monitoring a local strategy from flood risk management across the borough
  • consenting works that affect the flow of ordinary watercourses (watercourses that are not designated a ‘Main River’ by the Environment Agency and therefore come under the powers of Cheshire East Council. These watercourses can vary in size considerably and can range from drains and open ditches, to streams, brooks and small rivers. Like many watercourse systems the network has many culverts, of various sizes, throughout the Borough).
  • commenting on surface water drainage proposals for major planning applications as a statutory consultee.

Local flood risk management strategy

This is the first Strategy for Flood Risk Management in Cheshire East. The strategy will help to ensure that the Council, the Environment Agency, United Utilities, neighbouring and other authorities work together to protect homes, businesses and other infrastructure from flooding, whilst ensuring all other relevant considerations are taken into account.

It considers how various measures or activities can help to manage flood risk, from better planning of new development to ensuring emergency responders understand which locations are at greatest risk.

The driving force behind this strategy is the duty outlined in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 to produce a Local Strategy to tackle local and cross boundary issues affecting Cheshire East. This Act was introduced in reference to climate change developments and the major flood events that affected the UK in 2000 and 2007.

This Local Flood Risk Management Strategy focuses on “local flood risk”. That is flooding which is caused by surface runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses (streams and ditches).

However it is not the source of flooding that’s most important, it is the effect it has in Cheshire East. We are keen to make sure that flooding from all sources can be managed together and addressed according to the level of risk.

Managing flood risk locally requires co-operation from all public agencies, businesses and households. Hence it is vital that, in addition to organisations working more collaboratively with each other, we engage with the local communities who are affected by flooding.

The strategy set outs the roles and responsibilities of all major stakeholders, including households and community groups, so that there is clarity and understanding about when the different stakeholders need to be involved. We have a strong tradition of partnership working in Cheshire East and we intend to extend this into managing flood risk.

Taking effective steps to reduce flood risk requires an evidence based assessment to ensure that efforts and resources are appropriately focused. We have already taken measures to reduce flood risk and this strategy identifies what has been done and what we plan to do in the future.

With more development and increasingly uncertain weather patterns, flooding may occur in places where it has not been experienced before. Sometimes this involves looking for measures that can reduce the likelihood and/or the impact of flooding.

Management of the flood risk may not necessarily protect all households from flooding, but may include practical measures that allow households to be prepared and capable to cope in the event of flooding.

This Strategy is our statement of intent as to how we will manage flood risk in Cheshire East. We hope it will help you become better informed of everyone’s responsibilities, how to find out your flood risk and what we can do to help you become safer in our Flood Risk Management Strategy (PDF, 4.2MB)

Be prepared

Residents are encouraged to identify any potential flood risk to their property and people living in high risk areas are encouraged to make a flood plan, so that they are ready if or when the warning comes.

Check you if your property is at risk from surface water of fluvial flooding 

Keep up to date with the latest flood warnings from the Environment Agency and Met Office.

A number of other organisations have specific roles within flood risk management. These include:

  • Environment Agency – Managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea.
  • United Utilities – Operating and maintaining the condition of sewerage systems including foul, surface water and combined systems.
  • Riparian Owners – Maintaining the river bed and banks within their section of the watercourse. A riparian owner is anyone who has a watercourse within or adjacent to any boundary of their property. Further information can be found by reading the Environment Agency  guide to your rights and responsibilities of riverside ownership