Lead local flood authorities have the lead operational role in managing the risk of flooding from surface water and groundwater. In areas with no district council, they also have the lead role in managing flood risk from ‘ordinary watercourses’, for example any watercourse that isn’t a main river.
They can be either unitary authorities or county councils.
Lead local flood authorities:
- develop, apply, maintain and monitor strategies for local flood risk management in their areas
- maintain a register of structures and features that are likely to have a significant effect on flood risk in their area and designate assets if appropriate
- prepare and maintain a preliminary flood risk assessment, flood hazard maps, flood risk maps and flood risk management plans
- take the lead on preparing surface water management plans
Lead local flood authorities can:
- carry out work to manage flood risk from surface water and groundwater (and ordinary watercourses in areas with no district council)
- carry out work that may cause flooding or coastal erosion in the interests of nature conservation, preservation of cultural heritage or people’s enjoyment of the environment or cultural heritage
- acquire land in or outside of their district for use in flood risk management if necessary
- designate structures and features of the environment that affect flood or coastal erosion risk (a district or unitary authority can also do this)
- grant consents for culverts, dams and weirs on ordinary watercourses
Lead local flood authorities can make byelaws to ensure that flood risk management work is effective.
Guidance for lead local flood authorities
The Local Government Association has produced:
- a framework to help lead local flood authorities develop their strategies
- the flood risk portal with more information on flood risk management for local authorities