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Environmental Health

Land drainage and flooding

In this section you will find the following information:


We do not have a statutory duty to provide sandbags. However, in the event of heavy rainfall with a possibility of imminent flooding we will provide the following assistance to householders:

  • Council Depot in Pendragon Close, Malvern WR14 1GR
  • Hill Community Centre, Upton, WR8 0EN
  • The Rose and Crown, Severn Stoke, WR8 9JQ  - these are for resident use. 

These are limited to six filled sandbags for each household. A limited number of sandbags may be available. You can purchase sand yourselves from builder's merchants etc. 

Sandbags are only partially effective for flood defence purposes provided that they are used in conjunction with a suitable impermeable membrane. They can only be relied upon as a temporary measure, so where there is a regular need for some form of flood defence, we suggest a more easily deployed barrier or another form of property protection. For more information contact the National Flood Forum for independent advice and information.

Rest centres and other forms of help may be organised by the Emergency Management Team as necessary. 

Flooding - who to contact

Stay up to date with the latest situation by using the national flood warning service.

Keep up to date with the latest on the roads by following Worcestershire Highways Twitter account @WorcsTravel

If you have a problem with flooding, please contact the most appropriate organisation to deal with the issue.

  • Blocked highway drains and gullies/Blocked Road Culverts/Water Off the Highway – Please contact Worcestershire County Council
  • Main Rivers – Please contact Environment Agency
  • Public Sewers – Please contact Severn Trent Water Limited
  • Ordinary Watercourses (watercourses that are not Main River) – Please contact Ian White, South Worcestershire Land Drainage Partnership on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We receive regular flood warning information from the Environment Agency so that we have a good picture of how floods may develop. Information about flood warnings and river levels can be found by calling the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or on the Environment Agency website. 

What to do before, during and after a flood

A useful guide from the Environment Agency about pdf what to do before, during and after a flood. (374 KB)

The Association of British Insurers has also published a guide to recovering from a major flood.

Public Health England offers the following general safety advice on how to clean up after a flood.

  • Make sure there is good ventilation if you are using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces
  • Do not use petrol or diesel generators indoors: the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill
  • If you come into contact with flood water then wash your hands regularly.
  • Do not let children play in flood water

The National Flood Forum is a charity that offers advice and support to people affected by flooding. You can call them on 01299 403 055.


It may not always be possible for communities to be reached immediately during an emergency such as flooding. The Government suggest that communities could use local resources and knowledge to help themselves during an emergency. Useful links:

Land Drainage and Flooding

Land Drainage Functions are carried out by South Worcestershire Land Drainage Partnership (SWLDP).

Section 25 Enforcements

Under Section 25 of the Act any landowner who has a watercourse passing through or abutting their land is deemed a riparian owner and has a legal duty to keep it clear and free from obstruction to flow. As Drainage Authority the SWLDP has permissive legal powers to undertake enforcement action where appropriate. 

To report obstructed watercourses please contact the Land Drainage Inspector on 01386 565148.

Consenting structures within a watercourse

Under Section 23 of the Act any alterations to, or proposed new structures that may affect flow in a watercourse may require Land Drainage Consent before works commence. Those requiring consent are shown in the pdf ‘consentable structures' document. (212 KB)

Consent is required to be sought for the features shown whether the proposed works are permanent or temporary. 

To apply for consent or discuss any structures that may require consent contact Debbie Bowen on 01386 565377 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note consent cannot be given retrospectively so this should be done before any works are started.

All works in, on, or near a watercourse should comply with the Environment Agency pollution control recommendations in pdf ‘PPG 5 - Works in or near a watercourse' (125 KB) . A summary is available below and the full version can be found on the Environment Agency website.

The designation of flood defence structures

Under the Flood and water Management Act 2010 the SWLDP has powers to designate features. These are private structures that although are not designed as flood defence structures provide a flood defence function. Designation involves protecting them from alteration without prior consent. Further information can be found in the pdf Designation Factsheet. (38 KB)

For more information see: pdf Flooding Information and Advice. (281 KB)

Business Recovery Grant update (Storm Henk)

The Government has announced that funding support will be available to help communities recover from the impact of Storm Henk. Read the Government announcement.(opens in a new window)

The Business Recovery Grant (BRG) scheme provides a one-off grant payment of £2,500 to eligible businesses where a property occupied by that business has been adversely impacted by Storm Henk.

The deadline to apply for the grant was Friday 29 March 2024.

Grant Criteria

A business must satisfy all the following conditions to be eligible to receive grant support:

  1. The business must be a Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) at the point of grant award as follows:
  • have fewer than 250 employees; and
  • have a turnover of less than €50m or a balance sheet total less than €43m
  1. The business must have been trading at and/or from the premises at the point that the premises was impacted by Storm Henk. For the purposes of this grant scheme, a business is trading if it is engaged in business activity. This should be interpreted as carrying on a trade or profession or buying and selling goods or services to generate turnover. Fully constituted businesses in liquidation, dissolved, struck off or subject to a strike-off notice are not eligible under these conditions.
  2. The business must have been either:
  • Directly impacted by Storm Henk – for instance the business suffered flood damage to the premises, or
  • Indirectly impacted by Storm Henk – for instance access to the business premises is severely restricted as a result of flooding, including restricted access for customers, suppliers or staff.

A Local Authority must obtain a self-declaration from the business as part of the application process that confirms the business (i) was significantly impacted by Storm Henk, (ii) how it was impacted, and (iii) that the business has suffered a loss of trade as a result. There is no requirement for the grant recipient to provide evidence of a specific loss of trade or income figure.

  1. If the business has received a Business Recovery Grant (BRG) in the past 6 months (including for impact of Storm Babet), then no BRG payment can be awarded for the same premises if indirectly impact by Storm Henk. The application as it relates to the business premises must be in line with the table below:
Storm Babet Storm Henk
No previous BRG application approved. Application can be approved for direct or indirect impact, assuming all eligibility criteria met, and the Council retains appropriate evidence.
Previous BRG application approved for direct impact.

Application can be approved for direct impact only as long as:

  • the applicant business provides evidence that it had already put the premises back to rights / restocked and was trading from the premises again at the point it was directly impacted by Storm Henk; and
  • all eligibility criteria met, and the Council retains appropriate evidence to support future assurance checks.
No BRG payment can be awarded for indirect impact.
Previous BRG application approved for indirect impact

Application can be approved for direct impact only as long as all eligibility criteria met, and the Council retains appropriate evidence to support future assurance checks.

No BRG payment can be awarded for indirect impact
  1. The business must be able to receive the BRG payment in line with UK Subsidy Control rules.

A Local Authority must obtain a self-declaration from the business as part of the application process confirming it is content that it can receive the £2,500 B payment within its available subsidy control thresholds. Under Minimum Financial Assistance (MFA) Section36(1) of the Subsidy Control Act (2022) there is a maximum limit of £315,000 for subsidies awarded as MFA to any one entity, cumulated over a three-year period (including the current financial year and the previous two financial years).

Read more about the Statutory Guidance for the United Kingdom Subsidy Control Regime. (opens in a new window)

  1. The business must have appropriate flooding insurance cover in place or have actively made attempts to insure the business premises against flood damage on at least one occasion in the period since 1st January 2023.  Where this is not proven to the satisfaction of the Local Authority, the grant application must be rejected.  

Consideration here includes:

  • Attempt was made but costs were deemed by the business to be prohibitive.
  • Renewal cover lapsed / expired during the Storm Henk period (02-12 January 2024)

In cases where a SME has made no attempt to secure insurance cover or the reasons for not taking out insurance are not considered reasonable; a grant award must not be made.