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Flood risk studies

We carry out studies to help us understand which areas are at highest flood risk in Leicester. This allows us to manage them effectively and help residents and businesses prepare.

Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA)

Leicester has been designated a nationally significant flood risk area due to the number of people at risk. More than 30,000 people could be at risk of flooding from surface water during a severe rainfall event. This set the foundations for flood risk studies in the city.

The PFRA was our first step to understanding the areas at risk of surface water flooding and was completed in 2012. A revision to the PFRA was undertaken in 2017.

Please note: this report does not indicate individual properties as being at risk of surface water flooding. It should not be used for emergency planning or development planning purposes.

Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP)

The SWMP, completed in 2012, provided us with detailed information about the risk of flooding from all sources, but particularly surface water flooding to the city. As part of the study the following were completed:

  • A computer model of the whole city in which different floods were simulated and the areas most likely to flood from different types of storm were predicted.
  • Modelling of flooding from some ordinary watercourses in the city which are known to lead to flooding.
  • Detailed modelling of some of the areas found to be at risk from surface water to investigate possible solutions.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

Our first SFRA was completed in 2012 and this has been revised in 2022.

The SFRA contains the best information available on historic and sewer flooding and should be the first port of call for anyone wanting to understand the different areas at risk of flooding in Leicester.

For the 2022 revision, we undertook a greater analysis of the impacts of climate change on flood risk in the city, in order to allocate future development to areas of lowest risk. Additional localised flood risk modelling has also been completed on five ordinary watercourses in Leicester. This is because the watercourses are known to lead to flooding and the modelling enables a better understanding of their risk. The outputs from the modelling have produced Ordinary Watercourse Flood Extents (OWFE), which are similar to the National Flood Zones. These are now planning constraints and have to be considered as part of the planning application process.

Other Studies

Leicester City Council has undertaken (or been involved as a partner organisation) several other studies/strategies. These are listed below:

  • Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, 2015
  • Leicester Future Flood Risk Study, 2017
  • Leicester Integrated Flood Risk Management Strategy, 2017
  • Riverside Environmental Strategy, 2018
  • Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan, 2020 – 2023 and 2023 – 2028
  • SuDS Guidance, 2015 and SuDS Technical Guide, 2021

Digital copies of flood risk studies

The latest version of the SFRA and its appendices are available to download at the bottom of this page.

If you would like a digital copy of any of the other flood risk studies (and their associated appendices), please email with your request and include; Flood Risk Study Request in the subject line.

We will send the requested documents through Microsoft OneDrive and will try to complete requests within 10 working days.