Agenda item


The Director for Planning, Development and Transportation submits a presentation providing the Commission with an update following the flood event in June 2023.


Members of the Commission are recommended to note the presentation and pass any comments to the Director for Planning, Development and Transportation.


The Director for Planning, Development and Transportation submitted a presentation providing the Commission with an update following the flood event in June 2023.


The City Highways Director presented the item, it was noted that:


·         This presentation was to feedback after a significant flooding event on 22 June.

·         Different agencies had responsibilities for flooding in different aspects. The Council was responsible for managing the risk from surface water flooding.

·         Modelling showed that 4000 properties across the city were at some level of risk from flooding.

·         The storm event on 22 June was measured to be a 1 in 143-year event, with the worst affected areas receiving 50mm+ of rainfall in one hour. Traditional sewer systems were designed to handle a maximum of 25mm in an hour so the systems could not handle of volume of rain, this is what lead to the flooding.

·         Impacts of the flooding were significant damage to highway surfaces and structures, and at least 67 properties flooded. The areas most impacted were in the south and east of the city.

·         A multi-agency response was carried out, with various agencies including the Fire Service responding to call-outs. Some residents were provided with temporary accommodation.

·         The Council had liaised with Severn Trent to ensure that both had the same flood logs and that all consequential damage was known. Visits to all flooded properties had been carried out.

·         It had become apparent that many homes in the areas affected were not properly insured for the flooding risk.

·         As required by legislation, a Section-19 investigation was now under way.

·         It was hoped that this event would raise awareness of flood risks and encourage home owners to be able to take more mitigating actions and have the correct insurance.


In response to questions from Commission Members it was noted that:


·         Any reports on the flooding not yet received were still welcomed.

·         In terms of the Council’s options to mitigate future risk, there were some capital schemes in place to improve drainage systems, including replacing many of the old Victorian infrastructure.

·         Work was ongoing with Severn Trent on sustainable drainage in risk areas. The sewer system as a whole could only be upgraded by Severn Trent.

·         A major approach had been to develop flood mitigations on Council-land, such as the Ellis Meadows development.

·         There was a small stockpile of sandbags however these had a short life-span and therefore were prioritised for vulnerable people and critical infrastructure. It was possible for members of the public to obtain self-inflation sand bags.

·         If drains were on private land, then the onus for fixing that drain would be on the land owner if it was not public.

·         Upcoming works on Spinney Hills and Queens Road highway drainage would be focused on a cleaning exercise.

·         Work had been done in Spinney Hills Park to allow it to handle more water.

·         A few locations such as the LRI were in mind for major sustainable drainage retrofitting works, however it would be a significant undertaking to carry out on a major scale.  Sustainable drainage was much simpler in new developments.

·         The Planning Department sought to influence the design of new schemes, however national rules limited what restrictions the Council were able to put in and enforce. It was stated that this Planning Department had some of the nationally leading technical exponents of sustainable urban drainage systems. Largely developers were willing to follow this advice.


Members stated that the Council should not simply hand-off the drainage issue over to developers on new developments but ensure that these systems were being well kept.



That the Commission notes the update and asks Officers and the Executive to note comments made by Members.

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