Flood risk information and frequently asked questions for Cossington can be found below.

Which organisation is responsible for my stretch of river?

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency carries out maintenance, improvement or construction work on main rivers to manage flood risk. We are also responsible for working in partnership with the Met Office to provide flood forecasts and warnings. The main river map (link below) shows which rivers are designated as ‘main rivers’. The River Soar, River Wreake and Rothley Brook near Cossington are main rivers.

Other rivers are called ‘ordinary watercourses’. Lead Local Flood Authorities, District Councils and Internal Drainage Boards carry out flood risk management on ordinary watercourses.

To see a map of the Main River network, please visit: https://environment.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=17cd53dfc524433980cc333726a56386

Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA)

LLFAs are county councils and unitary authorities. They are responsible for managing and investigating the risk of flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses (smaller watercourses) and lead on community recovery. For information for your local council, please contact:

Leicestershire County Council
0116 232 3232

Internal Drainage Board

Each Internal Drainage Board (IDB) is a public body that manages water levels in an area, known as an internal drainage district, where there is a special need for drainage. IDBs undertake works to reduce flood risk to people and property, and manage water levels for agricultural and environmental needs within their district. However, not all areas are covered by an IDB, and your area does not fall within an internal drainage district.

For more information, please visit: www.ada.org.uk/idb-map/

Who owns my stretch of river?

The owner of a watercourse is usually the owner of the land that the watercourse runs on or under. Where the watercourse is on the boundary of the land, the landowner is responsible for the watercourse up to its centre.

If you own a watercourse, for example a river, culvert, brook or mill stream, you must maintain the river beds and banks and not obstruct the water flow. You should also call the Environment Agency incident hotline 0800 807060 to report flooding, collapsed or badly damaged banks, or any blockages which could cause flooding to main rivers.

Further guidance on owning a watercourse can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/owning-a-watercourse

Where can I find details for recent planning applications, and whether flood risk has been considered?

Information on local planning applications can be found on our website.

Planning applications for developments within flood zones require a flood risk assessment to be submitted with the application. Find out more about flood zones and flood risk assessments here: www.gov.uk/guidance/flood-risk-assessment-for-planning-applications

The Environment Agency provides expert statutory and discretionary advice to planners, developers, and communities, provides evidence on the capacity and value of the environment to aid decision-making, and attracts investment into the environment.

The Environment Agency’s External Consultation Checklist informs Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) of the types of development where we should be consulted. It describes the categories of development that could potentially impact on the environment and includes those for which we are listed as a statutory consultee in Schedule 4 of the Development Management Procedure Order (DMPO) and current Government planning policy.

With particular reference to flood risk, the Environment Agency is consulted on certain types of development within Flood Zones 2 and 3. Paragraph 155 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that where development is proposed in areas at risk of flooding ‘the development should be made safe for its lifetime without increasing flood risk elsewhere’. Whilst the onus is on applicants to demonstrate this in a site specific Flood Risk Assessment (FRA), the LPA will ultimately need to satisfy themselves that this requirement has been met. Depending on the particular flood risks to a site, the LPA may be required to seek the views of the Environment Agency and/or the Lead Local Flood Authority.

For further details on specific planning applications, please contact Charnwood Borough Council on 03456 091258.

Where can I find a map that will show the flood risk for my area?

You can view flood risk maps for your area by visiting: www.flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk/map

Type your postcode in the search box on the right-hand side to zoom into your area, and then click and drag the map to pan around. You can switch between maps of flood risk from rivers or from surface water by selecting the different options in the drop-down menu on the left-hand side.

To find out more about your area’s long-term flood risk, please visit: www.flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk

What maintenance will be carried out to my stretch of river?

The Environment Agency carry out scheduled quarterly maintenance checks, including vegetation management and tree maintenance, which involves pruning overhanging branches and ensuring trees and bushes don’t impede the flow of water, as well as coppicing some trees to ensure bank stability is maintained

To see the maintenance schedule, please visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/river-and-coastal-maintenance-programme

We also carry out ad hoc maintenance works as and when issues are reported. Please call the Environment Agency incident hotline 0800 807060 to report collapsed or badly damaged banks, or any blockages which could cause flooding to main rivers.

What is the Flood Warning Service and how do I register?

The Environment Agency issue Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings to inform the public of expected flooding.

Flood Alerts are issued when low-lying land and roads are expected to flood. This is an early indication of possible further flooding.

Flood Warnings are issued when property flooding is expected. Upon receiving a Flood Warning, immediate action may be required to protect your property.

You can sign up to receive Flood Alerts and Flood Warnings by phone, email or text message if your home or business is at risk of flooding.

To register for this free service, please visit: www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings

You’ll need to provide:

  • the address you’re registering
  • a phone number which you can be contacted on day or night
  •  an email address

You can also register, update your details or cancel your account by calling Floodline: 0345 988 1188 (24-hour service).

River Levels Online

Current river levels at our gauge stations can be viewed here: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/river-and-sea-levels

River levels are updated at least once a day during normal flows, and up to hourly during flooding. For Cossington, levels for the River Wreake can be viewed at the nearby Syston river gauge, levels for Rothley Brook can be viewed at the Rothley river gauge, and River Soar levels can be viewed at the downstream Pillings Lock river gauge.

How can I make my property flood resilient?

There are many things you can do to protect your property and your belongings from flooding. A great way to start is by creating a personal flood plan. A template can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-flood-plan

For advice and information on property resilience products and simple ways to reduce the damage caused by flood water, please visit The National Flood Forum (www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk), which is a charity aimed at supporting individuals and communities at risk of flooding.

The National Flood Forum also provide an independent directory of property flood resilience products, called Blue Pages (www.bluepages.org.uk), which can help to advise and inform you of what’s available to help reduce the risk of flooding to your property.

Where can I get sandbags?

Sandbags are a short-term and relatively cheap way to manage flooding but only if they are filled and placed correctly. However, they are not as effective as purpose-designed flood resilience products (please see www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk for information on such products).

Your local council may have some sandbags ready to deploy at times of flooding, but their priority is to protect the public at large. You should check our website to see how you can get access to sandbags before flooding starts (please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/sandbag_policy).

Remember, during a flood crisis there may be limited stocks per person or supply routes may get blocked. You can buy unfilled sandbags and a supply of sand from most DIY stores and builders merchants, but remember that if there is a flood expected in your area demand may exceed supply as people rush to buy them. In an emergency you can use alternatives such as pillow cases or refuse sacks and fill them with garden soil.

For information on how to use sandbags properly for flood protection, please visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/sandbags-how-to-use-them-to-prepare-for-a-flood

As a community, you can apply for a grant for a community resilience store, which can be used to store equipment such as sandbags. Please see Question 9 (Additional Grant Funding) for more information.

How can I help my community during a flood?

You can help your community before, during and after flooding by becoming a community Flood Warden. Flood Wardens are volunteers who are trained by the Environment Agency and the Local Authority, and can help prepare the community by:

  • Monitoring the rivers for obstructions and hazards, and reporting these to the Environment Agency
  • Contributing to the creation of a community flood plan
  • Helping to prepare the local community
  • Offering support during flooding
  • Keeping residents informed of the ongoing situatio
  • Monitoring the situation locally and reporting back to the Environment Agency and local authorities

Activities that Flood Wardens do not carry out include:

  • Putting themselves at risk or entering flood water 
  • Rescuing people or animals (this is the role of the emergency services)
  • Unblocking watercourses (this must be done by professionals)
  • Closing roads or diverting traffic

If you are interested in becoming a Flood Warden, please contact the Environment Agency on 0114 282 5312 or enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk, and we will be happy to provide more information. We will let you know if there is an existing scheme in your community which you can join, or help you to set one up.

Additional Grant Funding

As a community, you can also apply for a grant for a community resilience store, which can be used to store flood resilience equipment such as sandbags and flood boards.

For more information, please contact Charnwood Borough Council on 03456 091258. They can help by identifying grant funding from other organisations such as the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

Last updated: Mon 8th January, 2024 @ 10:24