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The Flood Risk Regulations 2009 and the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 identify NPTCBC as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for the area. This has placed a number of flood risk management duties and responsibilities on the Council. In particular, Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 places a duty upon NPTCBC to undertake investigations into flood events to the extent that it considers necessary.

A ‘Risk Management Authority’ (RMA) means:
Flood and Water Management Act: Section 19 - Local authorities: investigations

  1. On becoming aware of a flood in its area, a lead local flood authority must, to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate, investigate—
    • which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions, and
    • whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised, or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood.
  2. Where an authority carries out an investigation under subsection (1) it must—
    • publish the results of its investigation, and
    • notify any relevant risk management authorities.

      Flood and Water Management Act (2010), S.19, c.29, London: HMSO
  1. Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
  2. a lead local flood authority,
  3. a district council for an area for which there is no unitary authority,
  4. an internal drainage board,
  5. a water company, and
  6. a highway authority.

When considering if it is necessary or appropriate to investigate a flood event within its area, NPTCBC will review the severity of the incident along with the number of properties affected and the frequency of such an occurrence. The Council’s Local Flood Risk Management Strategy sets out the criteria to be used when considering a Flood Investigation Report.

RMAs in Neath Port Talbot have responsibilities in relation to flood risk management. Table 2 below identifies numerous sources of flooding and the RMA that has responsibility and flood risk management functions relating to a particular source of flooding.

Table 3 - Responsibilities of Risk Management Authorities
 Flood Source Natural Resources Wales Lead Local Flood Authority Water Company Highway Authority
Main River *      
Ordinary Watercourse   *    
Surface Water   *    
Surface Water originating on the Highway       *
Sewer Flooding     *  
The Sea *      
Ground Water   *    

The general responsibilities placed upon RMAs in relation to flood risk management are outlined below.

Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is responsible for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers and the sea. NPTCBC works closely with NRW, especially when managing flood risk from combined sources and in the event of a large flood incident. NRW also provide a flood warning service throughout Wales in areas at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea.

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council as LLFA

NPTCBC is responsible for managing the flood risk related to ordinary watercourses, groundwater and surface water. NPTCBC has produced a Flood Risk Management Plan in line with the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 which sets out how the Authority proposes to undertake this function. In addition to this and as previously stated, the Authority also has a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy which was produced to meet the requirements of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. There are a number of duties and responsibilities placed upon the Authority as the LLFA for the area by these two legislative documents. The Authority is also responsible for consenting works on ordinary watercourses and enforcing the removal of any unlawful structure or obstruction within the watercourse.

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council as Highway Authority

The Authority undertakes routine maintenance on the water conveyance infrastructure contained within the highway including culvert and gully cleansing operations. These operations, together with visual inspections of the condition of such assets are undertaken to reduce the risk of flooding on the adopted highway network and adjacent land.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) is responsible for the supply of drinking water and for taking away, treating and properly disposing the wastewater that is produced throughout Wales. Any flooding that occurs from the overload of public sewers or burst water mains is the responsibility of DCWW.

South Wales Trunk Road Agency

The South Wales Trunk Roads Agency (SWTRA) is responsible for maintaining and managing the trunk road network throughout South Wales, including any associated drainage and flood risk assets.

Land/Property Owners

Under common law, land or property owners have rights and responsibilities relating to any watercourse that passes through or adjacent to the boundaries of their land. This means that the landowner must:

  • Pass on flow without obstruction, pollution or diversion affecting the rights of others.
  • Accept natural flood flows through their land, even if caused by inadequate capacity downstream, as there is no common law duty to improve a watercourse.
  • Maintain the bed and banks of the watercourse (including trees and shrubs growing on the banks) and clear any debris, natural or otherwise, including litter and animal carcasses, even if it did not originate from their land.
  • Not cause any obstructions to the free passage of fish.
  • Keep the bed and banks clear from any matter that could cause an obstruction either on their land, or by being washed away by high flow to obstruct a structure downstream.
  • Take responsibility for protecting their property from seepage through natural or constructed banks.
  • Keep clear any structure that they own such as culverts, trash screens, weirs etc.

Under the FWMA 2010, a landowner needs consent from the Council if they want to construct a culvert or flood relief control structure on any ordinary watercourse.