Flood and water management

Information about how we tackle local flood risks and what we are doing to protect communities.

We are the lead local flood authority and investigate and assess flood risks. This includes flooding from surface water, groundwater and existing watercourses. We work with partners to protect communities from the impact of flooding.

Local flood risk strategy

The North Yorkshire Local Flood Risk Strategy is a legal document providing a framework for addressing flood risk across the county.

We have a statutory duty to develop, maintain and implement the strategy as lead local flood authority under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

North Yorkshire flood risk strategy

Section title Overview
 Section 1: Overview of the North Yorkshire local strategy (pdf / 375 KB)

Why we need a strategy, what it contains, and what we want to achieve.

 Section 2: Local strategy action plan (pdf / 3 MB)

The latest programme of activities for managing and reducing flood risk in North Yorkshire.

 Section 3: Reviewing flooding incidents and concerns (pdf / 584 KB)

How we investigate and assess flooding and flood risk, and the actions we will take.

 Section 4: Flooding in North Yorkshire (pdf / 3 MB)

A summary of the geographical and economic context, and an overview of the sources of flooding.

 Section 5: Flooding and drainage legislation (pdf / 896 KB)

A summary of the legislation and associated guidance. 

 Section 6: Roles and responsibilities for flood risk management (pdf / 806 KB)

Sets out the flood risk management duties and responsibilities of organisations, businesses and individuals.

 Section 7: Financing flood risk management (pdf / 457 KB)

An overview of the opportunities for attracting funding and investment in flood risk management.

 Section 8: Strategic environmental assessment, volume 1 (pdf / 2 MB)

 Section 8: Strategic environmental assessment, volume 2 (pdf / 4 MB)

 Section 8: Strategic environmental assessment, volume 3 (pdf / 2 MB)

Describes the important links that exist with wider environmental considerations.
Equalities impact assessment The strategy has been developed to eliminate, reduce or mitigate flooding impact on communities.

Structures and assets to manage flood risk and drainage

We keep a record of structures that play a part in reducing flood risk, such as flood walls, banks and culverts. Failure of these structures could increase flood risks. We also have access to our partners' asset records, which helps us draw a picture of how water moves around North Yorkshire. The process includes identifying structures that were not built to reduce flood risks but do so because of their size, design or position. These can be officially designated so they cannot be altered or removed without our consent. 

Flood incident investigation 

We bring groups together to coordinate investigations into significant flooding. Our priority is people who have experienced or are at risk of property flooding. Recent flood risk investigation reports are available in the section below.

Development control

We are responsible for land drainage consents. Our Making Changes to Waterways page gives information on applying for consent to carry out work that would affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse. 

We are also responsible for planning permission, including the approval of drainage design. Our Planning and Development page contains information on this.

We are a consenting authority for works on ordinary watercourses and have management and maintenance enforcement powers.

The Culverting Works and Drainage Maintenance Protocol 2019 guide details the circumstances in which we will apply the relevant legislation and exercise our powers relating to the installation of culverts.

Sustainable drainage systems

Local planning policies and decisions on planning applications relating to major development are required to ensure sustainable drainage systems are used for the management of surface water unless they can be shown to be inappropriate.

Guidance for developers and drainage engineers

Our guidance for developers and drainage engineers page has more information.

How communities can help themselves

If you belong to a town or parish council or a community group and are interested in setting up a flood group to make your community more resilient, contact us.

More information

What flood investigation reports are available?

As the lead local flood authority, we investigate significant flood incidents in North Yorkshire.

They are assessed in line with the criteria in section three of our local flood risk strategy. 

The following characteristics of a flood determine if a formal investigation takes place:

  • the level of support and engagement from other risk management authorities
  • the number of properties internally flooded
  • the depth, area or velocity of flooding reported
  • the frequency of flooding in a given location
  • the nature or extent of critical infrastructure impacted by the flood
  • the nature or source of requests for an investigation received by us
  • whether the flood relates to a known issue

Flood investigation reports

These reports meet one or more of the above criteria. They are produced with other relevant risk management authorities.

February 2022 flood investigation report

 February 2022 Flood Investigation Report (pdf / 843 KB)

February 2020 flood investigation report

 February 2020 flood investigation report (pdf / 6 MB)

 Appendix B 200316 Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Snaith Briefing (pdf / 433 KB)

July 2019 flood investigation report

 Richmondshire flood investigation report (pdf / 5 MB)

August 2017 flood investigation report

 Scarborough flood investigation report (pdf / 3 MB) 

November 2016 flood investigation report

 Sleights flood investigation report (pdf / 3 MB)

Boxing Day 2015 flood investigation reports

 Brotherton flood investigation report (pdf / 2 MB) 

 Harrogate Greenfield Avenue flood investigation report (pdf / 3 MB)

 Knaresborough flood investigation report (pdf / 4 MB)

 Sessay flood investigation report (pdf / 2 MB)

 South Craven flood investigation report (pdf / 14 MB)

 Tockwith flood investigation report (pdf / 3 MB) 

 Tadcaster flood investigation report (pdf / 4 MB) 

 Whixley flood investigation report (pdf / 2 MB)

Partners we work with

Our partners include: 

  • Yorkshire Water 
  • Northumbrian Water 
  • Environment Agency 
  • Emergency services 
  • NY Highways, our highways company which provides highways services across North Yorkshire 
  • North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks 
  • Internal drainage boards

Sustainable drainage systems

Our sustainable drainage systems guidance page has more advice and information.

Supplementary infiltration guidance

We have produced guidance and a summary of submission requirements for infiltration testing. Please read this guidance when submitting infiltration reports to us. The guidance should be read in conjunction with the our sustainable drainage systems guidance – 2022 update.

Read our supplementary infiltration guidance.