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Responsibilities of flood risk management authorities

Norfolk County Council - Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA)

Watercourse owners are responsible for maintaining watercourses. Norfolk County Council may take legal action where the following happens, or is likely to:

  • Internal flooding of a residential property. This can include an attached garage
  • Flooding of critical infrastructure, for example, a hospital
  • Flooding of main roads, for example, priority one and two winter gritting routes

In such circumstances, we will:

  • Inspect ordinary watercourses. An ordinary watercourse is any channel conveying water that is not a main river
  • Contact riparian owners if the watercourse needs maintenance. A riparian owner lives on, owns, or leases land next to a watercourse. If the lack of maintenance affects water flow we will serve notice for the maintenance
  • Coordinate work along a watercourse
  • Act to prevent unauthorised piping or culverting of watercourses

Norfolk County Council - Highway Authority

Norfolk County Council Highways is responsible for maintaining public highways. This includes adopted roads, pavements and footpaths. It must look at drainage to help prevent roads from flooding.

Anglian Water

Anglian Water manages flood risk from public sewers, water mains and adopted infrastructures.

Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs)

Internal drainage boards manage watercourses within their districts. Visit The Association of Drainage Authorities website for further information and contact details.

District, city and borough councils

District, city and borough councils in Norfolk have powers to maintain watercourses outside internal drainage board areas. However, there is no obligation to carry out maintenance or new works on these watercourses.

Local councils also take a lead role in emergency management during flood risk events.

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has a strategic overview for managing the flood risk from main rivers, reservoirs and the sea.

The Environment Agency has permissive powers to maintain and improve main rivers. However, there is no obligation to carry out maintenance or new works on these rivers. 

National Highways

National Highways maintains public highway assets on Norfolk trunk roads (A47 and A11). This includes looking at drainage to help avoid roads from flooding.

Further information

Visit GOV.UK to find out more about the roles and responsibilities of flood risk management authorities.