Local flood risk management strategies (LFRMS) guidance

Local flood risk management strategies are a key tool to help manage flood risk in England. Guidance is provided on how to update and develop these strategies to improve resilience to flooding.

Why are LFRMS needed?

Lead local flood authorities in England must develop local strategies for flood and coastal erosion risk management. These must be consistent with the national flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) strategy, take account of the current policy and reflect the aspirations and priorities of other partners with responsibilities for FCERM along with wider local interests in linked environmental or social outcomes.

What does a good strategy look like?

There is no one size fits all. The strategy needs to consider local issues and policy. Both in terms of the source of flood risk, the extent and severity of flood risk and the geography of the authority area including the environmental or social setting. They should complement other plans and policies on flood risk in the authority area and interlink with neighbouring or nearby authorities if appropriate. Whilst they focus on local flood risk (surface water, ordinary watercourses and groundwater flooding), they will need to reflect issues relating to all aspects of flood risk and the environmental and social setting of the authority area. This means that it is critical to talk to others to develop holistic and wide-reaching strategies based on the wider needs of a place.

Working with others

Work with others to share the knowledge of individuals and partners and develop a collective understanding. A collaborative approach to project delivery is more successful in meeting the needs of everyone involved.

Tackling flood risk issues should involve multiple partners and stakeholders working together to utilise a wide range of measures and to make the most of the opportunities available. This will result in a collaborative solution that combines local knowledge, data and technical expertise. It provides many positive aspects: 

  • A wider base of knowledge and experience of the locality, eg sources and experiences of flooding, knowledge of existing activities that may increase the risk of flooding, the specific issues of the area, what is feasible and what is needed.
  • Everyone working together makes the project fit for purpose and more likely to go ahead.
  • Ensures potential issues are considered early and managed.
  • Opens up opportunities for further actions to address flood risk or other societal or environmental issues.
  • Widens the funding sources available.
  • Raises the profile and understanding of flood risk management.