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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 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 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)

An updated SFRA was completed in 2020 to build on the previous version (2012).

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 2020 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.

Digital copies of flood risk studies

If you would like a digital copy of any of these flood risk studies and their associated appendices, please email with your request and include PFRA, SWMP or SFRA in the subject line. We will send the requested documents through Microsoft OneDrive and will try to complete requests within 10 working days.