Flood Risk and Drainage Assessment Berkshire

Flood Risk Assessment for Berkshire

The Unda team have considerable experience in delivering Flood Risk Assessments for individuals and businesses based in Reading, Windsor, Eaton Wick, Thatcham, Wraysbury and the surrounding towns and villages across Berkshire. We work with a broad range of planning, property and agricultural clients including architects, planning consultants, farmers and landowners. Through extensive experience in negotiating with the Environment Agency and Local Planning Authorities we have secured a high planning approval rate for our client’s developments.

The purpose of this page is to bring together some of the vast array of information available about flooding and flood risk in Berkshire. This includes emergency numbers and contacts as well as public information, forums and historic information services.

If you would like more information about flood risk assessments and drainage assessments in Berkshire then call us on +44 (0) 1293 214444 or fill in the form on the right and our friendly team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Berkshire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy

Following the significant floods in 2007, one of the direct actions from the Pitt Review  was local authorities were given new powers to help manage local flood risk in a more coordinated way by the Government.

The Flood Water Management Act 2010 requires county councils to lead the coordination of flood risk management for surface water, groundwater and smaller watercourses in their area. However, since 1998 Berkshire has been governed by the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham each responsible for their own areas’.

Bracknell Forest Council

Bracknell Forest Council is a lead Local Flood Authority and has a legal duty under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 to “develop, maintain, apply and monitor” a flood risk management strategy. Bracknell Forest Council has now produced a local flood risk management strategy which provides a clear vision about how flood risk will be dealt with.  This three-year strategy also provides information on how they work with other risk management authorities and is consistent with the national flood risk management strategy.

  • Bracknell Forest Local Flood Risk Management Strategy 2017 – 2020 – This strategy explains what is being done to manage ‘local flood risk’. It provides information about the forms of flooding and the organisations involved. It explains the roles and responsibilities of the major organisations involved in flood risk. It also highlights and summarises the information available on flooding in the Borough so that it is more easily accessible and therefore can be used more effectively.
  • Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment Report for Bracknell Forest Council – This was required by the Flood Risk Regulations (2009) and identifies high level flood risk within the borough. This assessment is a county-wide analysis that considers past flooding and possible future flooding.

Reading Borough Council

As a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), Reading Borough Council (RBC) is responsible for managing local flood risk and under the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 (FRR).  Reading Borough Council has now produced a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) which is a high-level screening exercise to manage the risks of flooding in the borough.  When the Environment Agency issued its list of flood risk areas, Reading was not included.

Slough Council

Slough Council produced an up-to-date report on flood management which was presented to Cabinet in November 2013. The report included a recommendation to approve and adopt the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment 2012; the Surface Water Management Plan 2012; and the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy 2013.

Flood management plans – The Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for Slough (LFRMS)
The overarching objectives of the LFRMS are to improve safety, health and wellbeing for residents and create a cleaner/greener Slough. This will be done by for example by:

  • identifying where flooding occurs, and what it affects, and reducing flood risk where appropriate
  • avoiding inappropriate development in areas of flood risk
  • developing public awareness of flood risk
  • opening up watercourses where possible, improving public accessibility and enhance and improving their quality and biodiversity.

If you would like any more detailed information about flood risks in these areas then get in touch today. UNDA provide Flood Risk Assessments and Drainage Assessments for individuals and developers right across Berkshire.


Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

The SFRA identifies areas in Slough at risk from all sources of flooding, and sets out specific recommendations for future development within the different flood zones. It also identifies the level of detail required for site specific Flood Risk Assessments and surface water drainage schemes when planning applications propose development in areas of flood risk.

  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment 2012 – The Assessment identifies approximately 47,000 residential properties of which approximately 4160 are located in Flood Zone 3 with a further 2200 in Flood Zone 2. There is outstanding planning permission for a further 3321 (as of end of January 2009) dwellings, of which 450 are within, or partially within, Flood

West Berkshire Council

To assess and manage the risk of flooding, West Berkshire Council have produced a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) to support their Core Strategy. It assesses the flood risk across the district.
Level 1 SFRA (2008)
West Berkshire Level 1 SFRA  – provides an overview of flood risk across West Berkshire.
Level 2 SFRA (2009)
The Level 2 SFRA looks at the flood risk to specific sites or areas to supplement the information within the Level 1 assessment.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

In November 2007, the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) for the Royal Borough was approved by the council’s Cabinet for development control purposes and to inform the emerging Local Plan. The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) brings together recommendations for drainage, emergency planning and development control and sets out recommendations for the development of policy within the Borough Local Plan. The SFRA includes a series of maps which define areas of flooding according to risk and indicate the borough’s historic flooding, watercourses and topography. A flood hazard map is also included which measures depth and velocity of flooding across the borough.

The council is committed to reviewing the SFRA on a regular basis in light of improved information regarding flood risk within the borough, and/or change in government policy. A review of the SFRA was undertaken in 2008 and published in 2009 triggered by the publication of revised flood zones for the River Thames and the publication of the PPS25 Practice Guide. In February 2013 an update to the SFRA was undertaken following updated Lower Thames Modelling and the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Technical Guidance Note. The updated SFRA consists of a revised SFRA Level 1 report and an Increased Scope and Sequential Testing of Sites report, both published in January 2014. The updated SFRA supersedes the 2007 SFRA report and maps and the 2009 Revision Report.

The updated SFRA reports and maps published in January 2014;

Wokingham Borough Council

The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) Wokingham Borough Council provides an overview of all sources of flood risk throughout the Borough. It builds upon our existing knowledge of flood risk and that sourced through consultation with the Environment Agency, Thames Water and Town and Parish Councils.  This information is shown in a number of documents.

The SFRA informs the preparation of Local Plans and future planning decisions, including planning application decisions.

The SFRA 2012 is a ‘living’ document and takes account of the latest flood risk information. It includes individual flood risk analysis of suggested sites for potential inclusion in the Local Plan, based on the data available

Flood warning service for Berkshire

The official GOV.UK website, in conjunction with the Environmental Agency, offer a live flood warning service and five day forecast.

Lead local flood authorities are responsible for managing the risk of flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses and lead on community recovery, including making sandbags available to those that need them.

Other real time information available on monitoring local river levels, river flow rates and groundwater levels is available from Shoothill.

Emergency flood contacts in Berkshire

If there is a flood

  • If you are in a life threatening situation, call the emergency services on999.
  • To report flooding from a sewer please call Thames Water on 0845 9200 800 or visit Thames Water’s Sewer Flooding page
  • Keep an eye on your local council website and Environment Agencywebsites

Important telephone numbers & Twitter feeds

Reporting Problems:

  • If you smell gas call the National Grid on 0800 111 999
    If you spot a hazard or potential hazard with an overhead transmission power cable call the National Grid on 0800 404 090. For homes or businesses contact your distributor.

If you are flooded contact:

  • Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service 0118 945 2888 for non-emergency situations including the pumping of properties
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to offer advice on obtaining money in an emergency and dealing with insurance companies (contact your local office)
  • The Highways Agency is responsible for major roads in the UK this includes the M4 in Berkshire. For further information on the roads the Highways Agency is responsible for please visit the Highways Agency Or alternatively to report a flooded road online click here.

Impact of flooding on people and the economy of Berkshire.

Flooding has a significant impact on the people and economy of Berkshire.  While it is not possible to prevent all possible local flooding, the relevant authorities, local communities and businesses can work together to reduce the risk and minimise the damage it can cause.

Call For Your Free Quote Now

Jackie Stone - Unda Flood Consultant

If you need a quote or to discuss your requirements in more detail contact Jackie Stone, one of our experienced Flood Risk Consultants.

Call 01293 214444


Or Fill Out The Form Below

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Thatcham Flood Forum

The aim of the Forum is to offer information and advice to residents on flood protection measures and to represent the various needs of the Town on issues ranging from blocked drains to drainage provision on new developments.  The Forum monitors existing work programmes and assists in highlighting additional remedial work which might be necessary. The Thatcham Flood Forum was set up as a result of recommendations contained in the Thatcham Town Council’s report on flooding which occurred during July 2007.

Thatcham Town Council has agreed to support the running of a Thatcham Flood Forum for a period of two years. This will be affiliated to the National Flood Forum and will be able to share information and experience with other similar groups around Britain. Thatcham Flood Forum will also be given responsibility for following up and monitoring actions identified by this and other reports.

The Thatcham Flood Forum is now tackling some of the issues raised from the Town Council’s Flood Report “Flooding in Thatcham July 2007 – September 2008 A year in perspective.”  One of the priority issues is to look at the unadopted developments and the need to put pressure on developers to meet standards for adoption and to verify that once a development is occupied the developers act responsibly to ensure that all occupied properties are kept safe from flooding.

The Forum have launched an informative new “Resident’s Guide” which it hopes will provide local residents with valuable information they need to prepare themselves and their homes for potential flooding in the future.

To find out further information about the forum Thatcham Flood Forum. T: 01635 860 634 E: thatchamfloodforum@googlemail.com

Berkshire Community Foundation

Since 1985, the Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) has been working with local voluntary groups that tackle need at the grassroots level in our local community, both now and in the future.

Community foundations exist to deliver philanthropic advice, expert grant making services, community leadership and to build endowment.

Flood Recovery Fund – Community and Voluntary Groups
If your community group is working directly to assist in flood relief or recovery efforts, you may be eligible to apply for a Foundation Grant. Small charities or social enterprises such as community shops may also apply if their day to day activity has been affected by the flooding.

Grants are made between £1,000 and £10,000 to groups who have been affected by the flooding.

These may include:

  • Groups who have incurred unbudgeted costs supporting those who have been affected by the flooding during February and March 2014
  • Groups who have sustained damage to either property or assets that cannot be recovered through insurance
  • Groups closely linked to communities who are undertaking activities that support those who have been affected by flooding

Consideration will be given for the funding of plans for future resilience.  Priority will be given to groups who have close local connections and where the activities are driven by those who have been affected.  Please email grants@berkshirecf.org for further details.

Flood Support UK

Flood Support UK provides information to help people to prepare for, work through and recover from flooding in the United Kingdom. They provide advice about the steps to take preparing for a flooddealing with a flood and cleaning up after a flood. We have useful guide on types of flooding in the UK, assessing the risk of home flooding, how to know if a flood is coming, ways to prevent home floodingsocial media links and a creating a personal flood plan.

National Flood Forum (NFF)

The National Flood Forum (NFF) is a national charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities and individuals at risk of flooding. We do this by:

  1. Helping people to prepare for flooding in order to prevent it or mitigate its impacts
  2. Helping people to recover their lives once they have been flooded
  3. Campaigning on behalf of flood risk communities and working with government and agencies to ensure that they develop a community perspective.

The NFF works with government, agencies and local authorities on issues such as flood risk insurance, property level protection and recovery to ensure that the needs of flood risk communities are represented

The NFF also provides a strong and independent voice that represents the interests of people affected by flooding. This includes working closely with national and local government agencies, flood protection companies and the insurance industry, as well as flood action groups to ensure that the views and issues of those at risk of flooding are taken into account when decisions are made.

If you would like your forum or community group to be added to our page please contact Unda Consulting at enquiries@unda.co.uk.

History of flooding in Berkshire.

A reminder from history: the floods of 1947. This flood was much bigger than any of recent years, but such a flood can, and almost certainly will, come again; there will also be many lesser floods. However weeks of heavy rain in the winter of 2014 also brought wide spread floods across Berkshire.

The Royal Windsor Forum

Is a local website which holds a wealth of historical flood information including historical to current day photos and personal accounts of such events surrounding The River Thames.  A publication entitled ‘The Floods of 1947’ by

G G Cullingham, First published in Windlesora Magazine, 1981, Latest update January 2014 gives an excellent account of this catastrophic flood.

How Unda can help?

If you, your business or your development is based in Berkshire and you have been advised to seek a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA), you may need one for one of the following reasons:

  1. Planning – If you are a planning consultant or property developer, you may be required by law to conduct an FRA for the site you are planning to develop on.
  2. Property – If you are a home buyer, you may have been advised by your conveyancer to seek an FRA.
  3. Insurance – If you have been refused home insurance on flood risk grounds or if your home has been identified by your insurance company as being at high-risk of flooding, you may need an FRA.
  4. Business Continuity Management – Assessing flood risk to existing and potential new locations for your business may be important for compliance, health & safety, insurance and infrastructure security reasons.

Useful links for planning and specific flood requirements:

  • Backnell Forest Council – phone: 01344 352000

In addition there is a strategic flood risk assessment which needs to be consulted for planning purposes: Strategic flood risk assessment  and  Strategic flood risk assessment maps

  • Reading Borough Council – phone: 0118 937 3787
  • Slough Council – phone: 01753 477340 or email
  • West Berkshire Council – phone: 01635 519111 email: planapps@westberks.gov.uk
  • The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead – phone: 01628 683810 email: planning.maidenhead@rbwm.gov.uk
  • Cookham Parish Council – The Cookham Plan – Housing and Development Group findings and Recommendations on
  • Wraysbury Parish Council – Flood Warden – Mr D Francis Tel: 01784 483053 or francisbld@tiscali.co.uk.
  • Wokingham Borough Council – Tel: 0118 974 6282 or email: customer.services@bracknell-forest.gov.uk

Flood risk and planning applications – The Borough has been divided into Zones 1, 2 and 3 according to the likelihood of flooding. Areas within Zone 3 have the highest flood risk. A detailed Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) will be required for all proposed developments within Flood Zones 2 and 3. An FRA will also be applicable to sites within Flood Zone 1 on a site 1 hectare or larger. FRAs are carried out at the planning application stage by the developer / applicant.

Unda’s Local knowledge

The Unda team have detailed local knowledge of having carried out many Flood Risk Assessment reports for sites across Berkshire. We provide a complete end to end service, negotiating with the Environment Agency, Insurers and Planning Authorities on your behalf.

Postcodes we cover in the region include: GU47, OX12, RG1, RG10, RG12, RG14, RG17, RG18, RG19, RG2, RG20, RG31,  RG4, RG40, RG41, RG42, RG45, RG5, RG7, RG8, RG9, SL1, SL3, SL4, SL5, SL6, SL7, TW19.

We cover towns, villages and wards in the following boroughs;

  • West Berkshire – Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Pangbourne and Lambourn. Theale, Purley-on-Thames, Burghfield, Mortimer and Hermitage.
  • Reading – Abbey, Battle, Caversham, Church, Katesgrove, Kentwood, Mapledurham, Minster, Norcot, Park, Peppard, Redlands, Southcote, Thames, Tilehurst and Whitley.
  • Wokingham – Emmbrook, Norreys, Evendons and Wescott.
  • Bracknell Forest – Bracknell, Sandhurst,  Crowthorne and Binfield
  • The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead – Ascot, Bray, Clewer, Cookham, Datchet, Eton, Eton Wick, Horton, Maidenhead, North Ascot(part), Old Windsor, South Ascot, Sunningdale, Sunninghill, Waltham St. Lawrence, White Waltham, Windsor, Wraysbury.
  • Slough Council – Baylis and Stoke, Britwell, Central, Chalvey, Cippenham Green and Cippenham Meadows, Colnbrook with Poyle, Farnham, Foxborough, Haymill, Kedermister, Langley St Marys, Upton, Wexham.

Get in touch with our team

Find out how we have helped clients across Berkshire to better understand the risk of flooding to their private and commercial property. Get in touch with our Flood Risk Assessment team today, by calling +44 (0) 1293 214444.


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