Publication - Guidance

Clearance and repair to reduce flood risk: local authority guidance

Published: 6 Sep 2017

Guidance on the duties of local authorities under sections 18 and 59 of the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 to assess bodies of water at risk of flooding and carry out clearance and repair works.

63 page PDF

1.1 MB

63 page PDF

1.1 MB

Clearance and repair to reduce flood risk: local authority guidance

63 page PDF

1.1 MB


The Act

Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.

Artificial structure

An artificial structure] the removal of which SEPA considers would significantly increase the risk of flooding from a body of surface water.


Recordable decision on the need for clearance and repair works.


A reference to the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011. All engineering works in or in the vicinity of rivers, lochs and wetlands now require authorisation under CAR.


A closed conduit used for the conveyance of surface drainage water under a roadway, railroad, canal, or other impediment.


A pipe (other than a sewer) for effectually draining an area.


Artificial structure which increases the height of any part of the banks of a watercourse.

Emergency plan

Plan established to manage responses at both a local and a national level to emergency incidents under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Emergency works

Clearance and repair works which a local authority considers need to be carried out immediately to protect people from harm or the environment from serious harm.


The term 'environment' includes landscape and visual, flora, fauna, geological or geomorphological features and buildings, air, water, sites and objects of archaeological, architectural or historical interest.


The temporary covering by water from any source of land not normally covered by water, but does not include a flood solely from sewerage system.

Flood risk

The combination of the probability of a flood and of the potential adverse consequences (associated with a flood) for human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity.

Floods Directive

Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks.


A situation with the potential to result in harm. A hazard does not necessarily lead to harm.


An on-site recording of the condition of a body of water (unless context otherwise requires).

Local Flood Management Plan

A plan prepared by a local authority that provides a local expression of the strategic plan prepared by SEPA. Include a summary of how actions will be implemented in each local plan area.

Relevant body of water

A body of surface water (other than a stretch of coastal water or a body of underground water forming part of a watercourse (but not including a watercourse which is wholly underground), but excluding sewers and drains which drain into sewers.


A combination of the likelihood and consequences of an event.

Scottish Advisory and Implementation Forum for Flooding (or " SAIFF")

A partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish public bodies and stakeholders that aims to support the implementation of the Act.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (or " SEPA")

A body established by section 20 of the Environment Act 1995 with responsibility for enforcing certain legislation to protect and enhance Scotland's environment.

Scottish Natural Heritage (or " SNH")

An organisation responsible for promoting the care and improvement of Scotland's natural heritage.

Scottish Water

A body established by section 20 of the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 with responsibility for the provision of certain water and sewerage services in Scotland.


Unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to a numbered 'section' is to be read as a reference to the corresponding section of the Act.

Section 18 schedule

A schedule of clearance and repair works prepared under section 18(1)(b) of the Act.


A pipe vested in Scottish Water which is necessary for effectually draining area in accordance with the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968.


Email: Gordon Robertson

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiries Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road