The Lead Local Flood Authority

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 Bedford Borough Council is a Lead Local Flood Authority with improved responsibilities for local flood risk management.

Our duties as a Lead Local Flood Authority

Investigating flooding incidents

Where necessary and appropriate the Council will investigate and report on flooding incidents occurring within the Borough. Report an incident here.

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

The Council must develop a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for flood risk from surface water runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses throughout Bedford Borough. This will identify areas vulnerable to flooding and help us target our resources where they are most needed.

Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) Approval Body

Responsibility to approve proposed drainage systems in new developments and redevelopments as the Sustainable Drainage Approval Body (SAB). This will ensure that new developments drain in a manner which does not increase flood risk.

Bedford Borough Council is taking steps to prepare for this role despite implementation still being revised by Central Government, who state that it has taken time to collaboratively develop the necessary processes, standards and guidance. For more information on SuDS visit SuSDrain.

Register of flood risk features

The Council must maintain a register of locally significant flood risk management and drainage assets found above and below ground (ie structures or features) which, in the opinion of the authority, are likely to have a significant effect on flood risk within the Borough. This involves recording flood assets and identifying those responsible for maintaining them.

Designation of third party flood risk management structures

The Council has powers to designate structures and features that affect flooding so they cannot be altered, removed or replaced without consent from the authority. 

Read more about the designation of third party structures and features for flood and coastal erosion risk management purposes.

Ordinary watercourse regulation and consenting of works

Responsible for the consenting of works and enforcement on ordinary watercourses, as laid out in the Land Drainage Act 1991 and the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. This ensures works will not negatively impact the natural environment through flooding, pollution, loss of habitats or damage to wildlife.

The Council has further drainage responsibilities as a Local Highway Authority, more information on this can be found on our Highways pages.