Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment

Under the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 all Lead Local Flood Authorities were required to prepare a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) for the Borough.

The assessment considers local sources of flood risk, primarily from surface water runoff which occurs as a result of high intensity rainfall, as well as risk from groundwater and ordinary watercourses. It describes both the probability and harmful consequences of past and future flooding in the Borough.

A key requirement of the report is to identify areas of risk where 30,000 people or more are at risk from flooding across England. 

Accordingly, there are no Flood Risk areas that would affect 30,000 people or more within Bedford Borough. There are however areas of local significance that will be investigated further under the Council's future Local Flood Risk Strategy.

Bedford Borough's Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment

The Bedford Group of Internal Drainage Boards prepared the joint Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment 2011 on behalf of Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Milton Keynes Council.

The PFRA is aimed at providing a high level overview of flood risk from local flood sources and includes flooding from surface water (ie rainfall resulting in overland runoff), groundwater, ordinary watercourses (smaller watercourses and ditches) and canals. 

It excludes main rivers, the sea and reservoirs, as these are assessed nationally by the Environment Agency.

The PFRA report looks at previous flood reports and future flood risk areas in combination with the consequences it might have to people, properties and the environment. 

It was undertaken as a strategic assessment of local flood risk and is not intended to be used to identify properties that may be at risk of flooding or detail any flood risk management works.

You can download the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment here or access its high level maps below.

Preliminary flood risk maps

The report includes high level maps which outline broad areas of potential risk.

Figure number

Map title


Fig 5.1

Bedford Borough Surface Water 1 in 200 Annual Chance


Fig 5.2

Bedford Borough Ground Water Flooding


Fig 5.3

Central Bedfordshire Surface Water 1 in 200 Annual Chance


Fig 5.4

Central Bedfordshire Ground Water Flooding


Fig 5.5

Milton Keynes Surface Water 1 in 200 Annual Chance


Fig 5.6

Milton Keynes Ground Water Flooding