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Flooding - duties and responsibilities

While the primary responsibility for avoiding or managing flood risk still lies with land and property owners, certain public bodies are expected to take a proactive role in managing and , where achievable, lowering overall flood risk.

Council duties

The Council has no statutory duty to prevent properties from flooding, but will help residents and communities as much as we can.

The responsibility for protecting individual properties lies with the property owner.

The Council's duties under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 are to:

  • Prepare a map of relevant bodies of water (see below) and sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDs) in Perth and Kinross.
  • Assess the relevant bodies of water (other than canals) within Perth and Kinross from time to time.
  • Prepare a schedule of clearance and repair works (see below) and make this available for public inspection.
  • Carry out clearance and repair works on relevant bodies of water where this will substantially reduce flood risk.
  • Assist SEPA in preparing the national flood risk assessment, flood hazard and risk maps and flood risk management strategies.
  • Prepare local flood risk management plans for relevant local plan districts by June 2016. These plans are based on catchments and will require cross boundary working between Councils. The plans will be published and be subject to public consultation.
  • Publish an interim report within 2-3 years of the publication of the local flood risk management plan and a final report 5-6 years after publication.
  • Have regard to both the flood risk and local flood risk management plans.
  • Exercise its flood related functions with view to reducing overall flood risk and:
    • Act in the best way calculated to manage flood risk in a sustainable way.
    • Act with a view to raising public awareness of flood risk.
    • Act in the best way calculated to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.
    • So far as practicable, adopt an integrated approach by co-operating with SEPA and other Responsible Authorities.

A relevant body of water refers to a body of surface water (other than coastal water) or a body of underground water forming part of a watercourse. It excludes sewers and drains which drain into sewers.
Watercourse inspections are carried out and the condition of each watercourse assessed with respect to flood risk. If it is found that the condition of a particular body of water gives rise to a risk of flooding, and clearance and repair works would substantially reduce that risk, then a schedule of those works will be prepared.

View the Council's Schedule of watercourse clearance and repair (PDF) [88KB] .

Please note that only those works that are considered to substantially reduce flood risk will be included on the schedule and will be removed from the schedule once complete. The schedule does not therefore represent the Council's annual works programme but only the outstanding clearance and repair works at that time.

Clearance and repair works essentially consist of removing obstructions from a body of water (or things that are at significant risk of becoming such obstructions) and repairing artificial structures which form part of the bed or banks of a body of water. The duty to carry out these works only applies where an assessment has identified a flood risk and where those clearance and repair works would substantially reduce that risk.

Other organisations, such as SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage, World Wildlife Fund, Scottish Wildlife Trust and the District Salmon Fishery Boards also have input into what work is possible on bodies of water and at what times of the year.

What the Council does

Although the responsibility to protect your property during a flood rests with yourself, the property owner, we will where possible provide assistance in the event of a flood. This could involve providing and placing sandbags, diverting water flows and pumping out flood water from public roads and footways near properties.

We also provide advice to landowners on flood prevention and watercourse management.

Although there is no duty on the Council to do so, when sandbags are requested by members of the public we will try to supply them. In extreme flooding situations this may not be possible due to the level of demand placed on resources.  As sandbags are in limited supply we can only provide them to properties that are in imminent danger of being flooded. To request sandbags, telephone 01738 476476.

Flood mitigation schemes

Councils have powers, not a duty, to promote and implement flood mitigation schemes.  Perth & Kinross Council must obtain grant funding from the Scottish Government before implementing a scheme. There are set criteria for securing this funding. If a scheme does not meet these criteria, it will not qualify for funding.

The flood mitigation scheme process is lengthy and can take several years from its conception to completion.

Responsibilities of others

Responsibilities of owners of property

Owners are responsible for preventing flooding of their property. For information on the steps you can take to help protect your home see advice and support.

Responsibilities of owners of watercourses

Many flooding problems arise as a result of under-capacity in a watercourse. The responsibility for improving or increasing the capacity of a watercourse lies with the owner, who may need to acquire a licence from SEPA before proceeding.

Responsibilities of landowners

Councils have no powers to require landowners to address flooding issues, although poor land management practices, such as ploughing downhill rather than across, have exacerbated flash flood events. The Council will provide advice on good land management.

The maintenance of agricultural floodbanks and mitigating the flooding of agricultural land and property is the responsibility of the landowner.

Scottish Water

Flooding from sewers is the responsibility of Scottish Water who can be contacted on 0800 0778 778.

What you can do

Use sandbags

  • SEPA provides a list of flood alleviation products, including sandbags.
  • Check the Yellow Pages under 'Builders Merchants' for local suppliers.
  • A pillowcase filled with earth or sand will make an effective substitute.

Keep drains clear

  • Keep drains on your property clear.
  • If you find any blocked road drains near your property call the Council on 01738 476476 so that it can be cleared.
Last modified on 06 July 2022

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