Flood risk management

We are a lead local flood authority so we lead on the management of local flood risks including:

  • flooding from surface water
  • flooding from groundwater
  • flooding from 'ordinary watercourses'

Our role involves working closely with partners involved in flood and water management, known as 'risk management authorities', in our area these include:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Yorkshire Water
  • Internal Drainage Boards
  • The Emergency Services
  • The Highways Authority

Roles and responsibilities

Local flood risk management strategy

We are required to develop, implement and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management.

Investigate flooding incidents

We are required to investigate significant flooding incidents and publish reports on their causes and effects. This duty includes identifying which authorities have flood risk management functions and what they have done or intend to do with respect to the incident, notifying risk management authorities where necessary and publishing the results of any investigations carried out.

Maintain an asset register

A register of assets or features which are considered to have an effect on flood risk, including details on ownership and condition. The register must be available for inspection and the Secretary of State will be able to make regulations about the content of the register and records. We will have the power to designate features as significant flood risk management assets and permission will then be required if any alterations or changes are to be made to these structures.

Sustainable Draining Systems (SuDS) through development management

From April 2015 Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA) became statutory consultant on all major planning applications within their area. Major developments are

  • developments of 10 houses or more on a site of 0.5 hectares or more
  • developments of buildings where the floor space created is 1000 sqm or more
  • development on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more

When a major planning application is received the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is required to assess planning applications in respect of surface water drainage and sustainable drainage systems. Some of this work was previously the responsibility of the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency is still a statutory consultee for major planning applications for the assessment of flood risk.

To help developers, we together with our West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) partners have produced the West Yorkshire Combined Authority SuD'S Guidance to Developers. This guidance is continually reviewed to provide you with the most up to date information and therefore are advised to contact the Flood Risk Management Team to make sure you have the most recent version.

Works powers

We will have powers to undertake works to manage flood risk from surface water runoff and groundwater, which is consistent with the local strategy for flood risk management.

Consenting and enforcement powers

We will be responsible for the consenting of works in ordinary watercourses that may affect flow or flood risk.

Ordinary Watercourse consents

The LLFA are responsible for land drainage consents - sometimes called flood defence consents - for ordinary watercourses. An ordinary watercourse is every river, stream, ditch, drain, cut, dyke, sluice, sewer (other than a public sewer) and passage through which water flows and which doesn't form part of a main river.

The Environment Agency retains responsibility for consents relating to main rivers and internal drainage boards retain responsibility for consents in their administrative boundaries. Please see the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) 2011 - Internal Drainage Board Boundary Plan.

Anyone who intends carrying out works in, over, under or near a watercourse or flood defence must contact the relevant authority for the necessary consents before starting work. A land drainage consent is required for:

• the erection of, or alteration to, any mill, dam, weir or similar obstruction to the flow of any ordinary watercourse, or
• the construction of a culvert in any ordinary watercourse, or
• the alteration of a culvert that would affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse, or
• temporary works in an ordinary watercourse, such as scaffolding, a dam, pumping off excessive water, or any major drainage work

Applying for a consent

Contact us before you start your application - we may be able to advise you that consent is not required, or give you advice that will help avoid unnecessary delays. You can contact us using the contact details reflected on this same page. Alternatively you can ring us for an informal discussion on 01904 553511.

To apply for consent for works affecting an ordinary watercourse you must complete a land drainage consent - application form (also available in Word format) and return this to us along with all items on the checklist in Section 11. We have also produced a guidance document to help with completing the application form.

It is essential the application is completed accurately and for accompanying information to be clear. If any information is missing, determination of your application could be delayed.

The application fee is £50 per structure or temporary works event. We must formally respond to your application within two months of receiving your application.

More information

For further detailed information is available to download in our Flood Risk Management Strategy. Also see our Strategic Flood Risk Assessment Documents.

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