We are a lead local flood authority and coastal protection authority.
As a lead local flood authority, we are responsible for the management of local flood risk. Local flood risk refers to the risk of flooding from surface water, ground water and ditches and streams (called ‘ordinary watercourses’).
We’re responsible for:
- preparing and maintaining a local flood risk management strategy - you can also read appendix 1, appendix 2 and appendix 3 of the strategy
- keeping a register of assets and structures that have a significant effect on flooding
- issuing consents for work affecting ordinary watercourses (not main rivers)
- investigating significant flooding incidents
- building partnerships and effective work with other Risk Management Authorities.
Householders are responsible for:
- finding out if they’re at risk of flooding
- taking steps to protect themselves or their property from flooding
- getting planning permission for paving areas that were not previously watertight as this increases surface water runoff leading to local drainage issues
- keeping fat and oils out of drains to avoid major blockages that lead to sewer flooding.
Landowners are responsible for:
- managing land adjoining a main river or ordinary watercourse as they are riparian owners (people that own land that runs into a river)
- keeping them clear of obstructions that could cause flooding
- ensuring the banks of watercourses are maintained.
Other responsible agencies
The Upper Medway Internal Drainage Board, Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board and North Kent Marshes Internal Drainage Board are public bodies. They have permissive powers to carry out works to watercourses within their own boundaries except main rivers.
Find out more about the Upper Medway Internal Drainage Board and Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board.
The Environment Agency is responsible for:
- flood and coastal erosion risk management activities on main rivers and the coast
- maintaining and improving the environment for people and wildlife
- managing flood risk from the sea and main rivers
- providing flood warnings and advice on preparing for floods, as well as what to do after a flood.
Find out more about the Environment Agency.
Coastal protection authority
We have permissive powers under the Coastal Protection Act 1949 to protect the coast from erosion and from the sea advancing beyond its usual boundaries. The act allows coastal authorities to carry out capital works, but routine maintenance and general management of the coast is not a legal responsibility.
We administer the coast from the Isle of Grain in the east to Dagnum Saltings to the west of Allhallows.
Private development on the coast and changes to the coastal defences
If your property backs onto the coastline and you wish to modify, upgrade or renew the existing coastal defence, you may need planning permission, and you might also need to get permission from the Environment Agency before the works can go ahead.
External coastal management group
We are involved with the South East Coastal Group. The group brings together local authorities, the Environment Agency and other maritime operating organisations to achieve co-ordinated strategic management of the shoreline. The group supports the delivery of plans, studies and schemes by providing co-ordination, facilitating communication and offering advice and guidance.