Flood Risk Management Plans: what they are and who’s responsible for them

Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) highlight the hazards and risks of flooding from rivers, the sea, surface water, groundwater and reservoirs, and set out how Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) work together with communities to manage flood risk.

Risk Management Authorities are:

  • Environment Agency
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • district councils for areas for which there are no unitary authorities
  • internal drainage boards
  • water companies
  • highway authorities

FRMPs also meet the aims of the National FCERM Strategies in England and Wales.

Who’s responsible for preparing FRMPs

By law Environment Agency (EA) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) must produce flood risk management plans (FRMPs) for each River Basin District. These FRMPs must cover flooding from main rivers, the sea and reservoirs.

By law Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) must produce FRMPs for all Flood Risk Areas (PDF, 237KB, 2 pages) covering flooding from local sources (surface water, ordinary watercourses and groundwater). LLFAs may either do a separate FRMP or contribute to a joint partnership FRMP for the River Basin District.

LLFAs that are not in Flood Risk Areas may contribute to a joint partnership FRMP. Other RMAs can also contribute to developing the joint partnership FRMP for the River Basin District. Such contributions are carried out on a voluntary basis and will result in better co-ordinated flood management.

Certain LLFAs have a legal duty to prepare FRMPs under the Flood Risk Regulations. Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs): how to prepare them provides more guidance for these authorities.

The preferred approach to completing a FRMP

The preferred approach to FRMPs is for Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales to prepare joint FRMPs in partnership with others, in particular LLFAs and other RMAs. Information about all sources of flood risk is combined to form a single FRMP. For this first cycle of FRMPs, joint FRMPs with LLFAs are not being pursued in Wales.

This approach co-ordinates flood risk management planning with river basin management planning under the Water Framework Directive, in particular the statutory consultation on proposed updates of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) and draft FRMPs.

LLFAs preparing separate FRMPs must co-ordinate the activities of interested parties with those developing RBMPs in England and Wales.

What FRMPs contain

Flood Risk Management Plans must include:

  • a map showing the boundaries of the Flood Risk Area
  • the conclusions drawn from the flood hazard and risk maps
  • objectives for the purpose of managing the flood risk
  • proposed measures for achieving those objectives
  • a description of the proposed timing and manner of implementing the measures including details of who is responsible for implementation
  • a description of the way implementation of the measures will be monitored
  • a report of the consultation
  • where appropriate, information about how the implementation of measures under the FRMP and RBMP area will be co-ordinated

Publishing FRMPs and reporting to the European Commission

Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales must publish FRMPs prepared by them and LLFAs by 21 December 2015, and report information to the European Commission (EC) by 22 March 2016.

Relevant legislation

European Floods Directive

Flood Risk Regulations 2009

Flood Risk (Cross Border Areas) Regulations 2010

Contact us

Environment Agency

Tel: 03708 506 506 (Mon-Fri 8am to 6pm)

Email or visit the Environment Agency website

Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru / Natural Resources Wales

Tel: 0300 065 3000 (Mon-Fri, 8am to 6pm)

Email or visit the Natural Resources Wales website

Published 1 May 2014