Flooding

Service information

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, the Council is designated as a Leading local flood authority. As such the Council has a duty to investigate flooding incidents within its area which are considered "necessary and appropriate" to investigate and determine which agencies or individuals have responsibility for taking remedial action.

Instances of excessive surface water and flooding of gullys, roads and properties should be reported to Highway services on 01254 273829.

For more information please visit the Environment agency flood advice pages.

2015/16 flood updates

Please note that the Property Level Resilience fund, Community Relief Compensation scheme, Business Support Scheme, and Business Rate Relief Schemes, are subject to resources and funding from DCLG – Department of Communities and Local Government, made available to the council. In the absence of this funding to the council, it may not be able to provide funding for these schemes.

Blackburn with Darwen Council would like to thank its staff, the emergency services and residents who have been working tirelessly to help those affected by the recent floods. Thankfully we weren't hit as badly as some neighbouring areas but unfortunately several homes and businesses were still affected. This page will keep you up to date with everything the Council is doing to support those affected.

Latest updates

For the latest updates please follow us on social media via the BWD Weather Watch Facebook page or Twitter @blackburndarwen

Property Level Resilience Funds

Government support is available to local authorities to provide grants of up to £5,000 to homeowners and businesses that have been flooded as a result of Storm Desmond and Storm Eva to help fund additional flood resilience measures for their properties.

The resilience grant presents an opportunity for those who have been flooded to better prepare their homes for future flood events.

Households and businesses that have been flooded will be contacted to consider whether they should apply for a flood resilience grant.

Grants are intended only to fund measures which improve the property’s resilience with regard to flooding, and do not cover flood damage repairs. Grant application forms will be posted and should be submitted and approved in advance of committing expenditure. If applications are retrospective there is a risk to the homeowner that costs may not be eligible.

There is a lot of useful advice on the GOV.UK website, but the best starting point for those who are new to understanding flood risk is the National Flood Forum website. The National Flood Forum website sets out a step-by-step process for householders and links to a wide range of other sources of information, including the “Blue Pages”, which list a range of flood products and service providers. National Flood Forum

The most appropriate work will vary from house to house, and the Council will arrange for a professional survey of your premises to identify the best resilience measures to reduce flood risks. Examples of the type of work that might be recommended include air-brick covers, re-pointing external walls with water resistant mortar, and toilet pan seals.

Community Funds

You may also wish to visit Community Foundation for Lancashire, Flood Recovery Fund who may be able to assist with other funding support.

Financial support

To help with emergency costs, Blackburn with Darwen Council working with UK government, has a number of financial assistance schemes to help households and businesses flooded following storm Desmond in the week beginning 7th December and storm Eva on Boxing Day.

  • £500 compensation scheme is to help householders recover from the floods. This may, for instance, help with rental costs at a temporary home. 
  • A Council Tax Relief scheme recognises the longer term issues caused to residential properties by the flooding caused by the storms .
  • A Business Rate relief scheme for businesses who have had to stop trading because of flooding
  • Business Support Scheme for businesses impacted by the floods

Please ring (01254) 273829 or email highways@blackburn.gov.uk to notify us of flooding to your property or business. Any notifications will be investigated before payments are approved. We are not asking householders to apply as we will be making payments directly following the investigation by the drainage team.

Householders will qualify if their living quarters were flooded but not if flooding only affected the exterior of the property i.e. gardens and outhouses.

We would expect the person qualifying for the payment to be the person who pays the Council Tax at the property. Payment will be made directly into a nominated bank account.

Details of the scheme

  • The flooding incident that this scheme applies to is where domestic properties have been flooded as a result of storms Desmond and Eva.
  • The definition to be used for this scheme is from the National Flood Emergency Framework for England Therefore Properties Flooded are defined as those homes where it is considered that the property has been flooded internally i.e. water has entered the living quarters of the property such as the living room, kitchen, hall, dining room.
  • Basements and below ground level floors are included if they are used as living quarters.
  • Garages are included if in the fabric of the building. Garages adjacent or separate from the main building are not included. Gardens are also not included.
  • The definition of a household is where an individual or family/group of people live together in one property, in a bedsit or in a flat
  • For households that fit within this definition a payment of £500 for each household will be authorised. Authorisations will be checked against a list of flooded properties that will be collated by the drainage team.
  • For flats e.g. upper floors that have not been flooded (see definition above) or not affected by flooding the household payment will not apply.
  • For flooded properties which are rented, the payment is intended to be made to the tenant (household not individual) rather than the landlord. The tenant should be the Council Tax payer and so the tenant should receive the payment (whether automatic or not).
  • For houses in multiple occupation (HMO) a payment will be made to each household affected (this is expected to be limited to those in ground floor or basement properties).
  • Where flooded properties were empty (using the Council Tax definition) immediately prior to the flood incident these will be excluded from the scheme.
  • Second homes (empty by definition) are excluded from the scheme.
  • All claims against this scheme need to be made within 3 months of the launch of the scheme.
  • If your property has not been flooded directly but you have been affected by the flooding and couldn't live in the property (for example, you could not access the property or you lost power or water) you may still be able to make a claim.

Council Tax Relief

If you have been forced to move out of your property, you will qualify for a 100% Council Tax discount and you won't have to pay Council Tax for your temporary accommodation. We will use the information you provide with this application and if you are entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax we will send you a revised bill.

Definition of properties flooded will be as set out above in the £500 recovery scheme.

  • We will apply a 3 month discount automatically where we already have details of properties flooded.
  • The relief will apply to both unoccupied and partly occupied properties. 

Business support scheme for businesses impacted by the floods

A grant scheme has been established to support small and medium sized businesses in Lancashire which have been severely affected (either directly or indirectly) by the flooding of December 2015. Grants of up to £2,500 are available to aid the recovery of your business depending on turnover and number of employees.  More may be available by exception. To find out more or to progress an application, please contact Boost Business Lancashire on 0800 488 0057, email info@boostbusinesslancashire.co.uk or visit their website.

Business rate relief for flood-affected premises

If your business has been forced to close because of the recent flooding you will not be required to pay business rates for the period you are not trading. Once we have checked the information we will adjust your business rates account and send you a bill to show the relief you have been given. Please ring (01254) 273829 or email highways@blackburn.gov.uk. Note that if you have contacted the Council already about being affected by flooding we will be in touch with you directly. There is no need to contact us again.

Contact details

Mail Highway services, CastleWay House, 17 Preston New Road, Blackburn. BB2 1AU
Phone Number(s) 01254 273829
Fax Number(s)  
E-mail highways@blackburn.gov.uk
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