Following the exceptional flooding across England in 2007, which saw 55,000 properties flooded and around 7,000 people rescued from the flood waters by the emergency services, the Government commissioned the Pitt Review to understand the causes and consequences of the flooding and learn lessons from people’s experiences.
The Pitt Review produced 91 recommendations for the government to act upon. At the heart of these recommendations were:
- Knowing where and when it will flood
- Reducing the risk and impact of flooding
- Better advice and help for people to protect their families and homes
- Maintaining power and water supplies and protecting essential services
- Rescuing and caring for people during an emergency
- Staying healthy and speeding up recovery
To fulfil these recommendations locally, Norfolk County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority is required to develop, maintain, apply and monitor a Local Flood Risk Management strategy.
Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment report
As a first step in this process Norfolk County Council prepared a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment report (PFRA), which is a high level study aimed at highlighting areas of Norfolk susceptible to flooding from surface run-off.
The PFRA process provides a consistent high level overview of the potential risk of flooding from local sources such as surface water, groundwater and ordinary water courses.
Based on national surface water modelling approximately 37,000 properties are estimated to be at risk from flooding during a rainfall event with a 1 in 200 annual chance of occurring. Through this process, Norfolk was recognised as the 10th most at risk area out of 149 authorities.
Norwich was identified as having approximately 14,000 people at risk of flooding and was ranked 19th in a list of English settlements outside the national indicative Flood Risk Areas.
The PFRA report was submitted to the Environment Agency on the 22 June 2011. After successfully passing the Environment Agency review process the PFRA report was published on the 22 December 2011.
The PFRA report will be used to inform our Local Flood Risk Management strategy by identifying areas potentially at flood risk and that require more detailed studies such as through Surface Water Management Plans.
Consultation and adoption of strategy
Work has been underway since 2010 to collect more detailed data on local flood risk across Norfolk, primarily through Surface Water Management Plans.
The information from these studies fed into our Local Flood Risk Management strategy, which went through public consultation in spring 2015. Find out more about the consultation on our Consultation Finder including links to the draft strategy and related documents.
Following the consultation, the Local Flood Risk Management strategy was revised to reflect the responses received. The strategy was presented to the Council’s EDT Committee, with the final strategy report being presented to full Council for adoption by the authority on 27 July 2015.
View the strategy document. A print version is available on request.
Local Flood Risk Management Strategy Policy Review 2021
Since the adoption of our Local Flood Risk Management Strategy in 2015, Norfolk has been subject to significant rainfall and widespread flooding (as well as droughts and heatwaves). This includes the event in summer 2016, which saw over 250 properties flooded, blocked roads and required emergency provisions to deliver ballot boxes on the referendum vote.
Norfolk has also seen significant growth and development. There have been expansions of many market towns and settlements, particularly along the A11 corridor and around Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Alongside this, major infrastructure projects have been developed and delivered, including Broadland Northway completed in 2018.
The legislative landscape has also changed and with the publication of the revised National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England, our Strategy needed to be updated to remain consistent and relevant.
The existing policies in the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy have been reviewed against new and emerging national strategies and policies. This has resulted in 3 new policies and minor updates to our existing policies. These changes have been shared with relevant stakeholders and the public across Norfolk for comment.
View the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy Policy Review.