Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Land Drainage

The City Council as Land Drainage Authority has a responsibility for natural drainage and has powers associated with the prevention, mitigation and remedying of flood damage. Powers exist to maintain and improve existing watercourses and to construct new works for the benefit of its area.

Many watercourses are the responsibility of land owners but the Council has powers to regulate and enforce duties on land owners. In general the Council works with landowners to maintain and improve watercourses.

We take responsibility for certain significant watercourses where it is to the general benefit of the area and builds and maintains flood defences. An example is the River Rea where significant works are undertaken.

The Environment Agency has direct responsibility for designated Main Rivers including the River Tame, Rea, Cole (to Formans Road), The Bourne, Bourne Brook, Wood Brook, part of Hatchford, Hawthorne and Hockley, Perry Plants and Warren Brooks and the Stonehouse Brook.

As Land Drainage Authority we are consulted on appropriate planning applications and contribute towards mitigating the effects of development on the general drainage in the area. The Council has a policy of introducing and encouraging sustainable drainage systems where appropriate and practicable.

The Council has a prepared Policy Statement on Flood Defence (attached below)

Land Owner Responsibilities

Various Departments own significant areas of land that contain watercourses, pools, reservoirs and other water features. Highways Drainage improve and maintain many of these on their behalf including the enhancement of the environment.

Reservoir Enforcement Authority

The Environmental Agency has a duty to maintain a register of large raised reservoirs including those in the Birmingham Area. It ensures that owners maintain their reservoirs in a safe condition in accordance with the Reservoirs Act. The Council owns thirteen large reservoirs and Highways Drainage ensures the safety of these reservoirs and undertakes any necessary works.

Lead Local Flood Authority

Under the provision of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Birmingham City Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), for its administrative area.

As LLFA we have produced a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) in compliance with the European Union Floods Directive. The PFRA is attached below.

Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment

As LLFA we have produced a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) in compliance with the European Union Floods Directive. The PFRA is attached below.

Flood Risk Management Asset Register

Lead Local Flood Authorities are required, under Section 21 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, to ‘establish and maintain a register of structures or features which, in the opinion of the authority, are likely to have a significant effect on a flood risk in its area. The Act also requires that the lead local flood authority must arrange for the register to be available for inspection at all reasonable times.

Birmingham have developed a web-based system that is accessible to the public at all times, it brings together information about flood risk assets that are managed by a number of Flood Risk Management Authorities.

The asset register shows structures and features that are important to managing flood risk (such as flood defence wall, storage tanks, balancing ponds, land drainage, highway drainage) along with the relevant Flood Risk Management Authority responsible for their maintenance.

The Flood and Water Management Act requires that only significant assets are included on the register, therefore every asset in Birmingham will not be shown. Furthermore there may be significant assets which we were not aware of at the present time, therefore the asset register will be updated regularly, and additional information will be added as it is identified.

Using the Asset Register

Please follow this link to access the asset register:https://localview.birmingham.gov.uk/Highways/Sites/Drainage/#

If you know the road name or post code of the location you are interested in, just type that into the search field in the top left hand corner. Once you have found a flood risk management asset you are interested in click the 'Identify' button on the top menu bar and then click within the boundary of the asset you are interested in. The details for that asset will then be displayed together with the Flood Risk Management Authority responsible for its maintenance.

Sustainable Drainage Systems

Sustainable Drainage is an approach to drainage to manage runoff at source and follow a hierarchy of discharge to deal with excess flows. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) reduce the impact of development on flooding, in addition to delivering amenity and environmental benefits.

From 6th April 2015, local planning policy and decisions on major developments (10 dwellings or more; or equivalent non-residential or mixed development) are expected to ensure that SuDS for the management of runoff are put in place. In addition to this there is an expectation in national planning policy that all developments in areas at risk of flooding should give priority to the use of SuDS.

As LLFA we are now a Statutory Consultee on all major developments in relation to sustainable drainage. The Sustainable Drainage: Guide to Design, Adoption and Maintenance has been drafted to provide detailed guidance to support the implementation of SuDS in future development in Birmingham, with particular emphasis on the local requirements for SuDS on all major development.

The specific objectives of this draft guidance are to:

  • Enhance understanding of national and local requirements of SuDS
  • Explain the principles and benefits of SuDS and the role these play in Birmingham
  • Provide detailed guidance on the local requirements placed on developers
  • Provide technical guidance with regard to specific SuDS features and associated landscaping, planting and ecology
  • Provide guidance on the operation and maintenance requirements and adoption process

This guidance has been written to support developers within Birmingham following the recent changes to national policy regarding SuDS. This guidance is a living document and is subject to future revisions. It is currently in draft format, pending future consultation.

What does this mean for developers?

Developers should:

  • Consider SuDS at the earliest opportunity to minimise the risk of later design conflicts
  • Refer to the Sustainable Drainage: Guide to Design, Adoption and Maintenance
  • Consider whether to seek pre-application advice from the LLFA, this is charged on a cost-recovery basis. If seeking pre-application advice a Sustainable Drainage Evaluation should be provided to the LLFA.
  • Provide a Sustainable Drainage Assessment and a Sustainable Drainage Operation and Maintenance Plan when submitting a planning application for major development. Failure to provide either of these documents may result in your planning application being invalidated.

Highway Authority

Generally highways are drained by means of road gullies, comprising of a gully grating with a gully pot beneath, situated at the side of roads. These gullies take off the surface water from roads and also trap sediment. The road gullies are either connected to public surface water sewers that are the responsibility of Severn Trent Water Limited and drain to natural watercourses or in older developed areas connect to combined foul and surface water sewers that are also the responsibility of Severn Trent Water Limited. Only in a small number of cases does highway drainage connect directly to watercourses.

Improvements maybe made by installing more gullies as necessary and other methods of kerb drainage where appropriate.