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Flood Risk Management

Protecting communities and increasing resilience

PFR Funding Policy


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Last Updated

Introduction

Devon County Council (DCC) is committed to increasing community resilience in Devon and is supported by DEFRA to deliver Property Flood Resilience measures. Working closely with a number of partners, DCC aims to help individual property owners be better equipped with the tools and basic defence measures they need to be able to deal with flooding. The purpose of this policy is to set out a number of criteria that will be used to determine whether a homeowner is eligible for Property Flood Resilience funding of up to £5000.

There is limited funding, with an annual allocation to be made available each year. Other opportunities will be considered throughout the year as and when they arise. The funding is allocated to residential properties only, with no budget available for commercial buildings. Applications will be prioritised based on the criteria set out below in order to maximize the number of properties benefitting from this opportunity.

About the funding

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Funding can be used to help fund the provision of resistance measures that will help reduce the risk of flooding to individual properties. The funding will be paid retrospectively to the homeowner’s chosen contractor, on completion of works, providing approval from DCC has been sought. DCC cannot recommend a specific contractor, however, a list of contractors can be found at the Blue Pages website.

Any costs over and above the maximum funding amount must be topped up by the homeowner. Decisions regarding the eligibility of homeowners will be made by DCC’s Flood & Coastal Risk Management team. Further information and advice can be found on the Devon Communities Together webpages. Information on the types of PFR measures and how they work can be found on the BeFloodReady website.

A survey will be required prior to agreement of works, which will be conducted by DCC’s appointed surveyor and paid for by DCC from the Funding allocation, following the prioritisation process. Homeowners are welcome to carry out a survey prior to application, at their own expense, if they feel that it would benefit their application. However, this will not substitute the required survey.

While DCC will be able to provide advice and support with regards to choosing the most suitable protection for the homeowner, it should be noted that the homeowner is free to select whichever option they prefer, subject to costs being approved by the Council. This is however, done entirely at the homeowner’s own risk and DCC is not liable if the chosen PFR is not suitable in preventing flooding in the future. Unless approved by DCC in advance, the homeowner should always select the most cost effective option quoted to them.

DCC will endeavour to package works in nearby locations to ensure efficiency and the possibility of delivering PFR to a greater number of properties. If there are a number of applications for a specific area, it may be beneficial for DCC to consider alternative improvements or minor works, as opposed to providing PFR.

Some of the types of PFR equipment that could be installed using funding provided by DCC are as follows.

  1. Flood resistant doors
  2. Temporary or demountable barriers
  3. Pumps
  4. Airbricks/Airbrick Covers
  5. Passive flood barriers
  6. Flood safety doors

There is scope for homeowners to use the funding towards other alternatives, such as deflection walls/bunds, however this would be subject to full Council approval prior to commencement.

Criteria

In order to qualify for funding towards Property Flood Resilience, a homeowner must meet a certain number of criteria. Further supporting information will also need to be provided to assist prioritisation of applications, ensuring that those who are in greater need of PFR will be allocated funding for it. If a homeowner qualifies for the scheme and leads to the provision of resilience measures on their property, the Council will provide the agreed amount direct to the contractor upon completion of the works and evidence of the installation has been received. No funding will be paid direct to the property owner or their representative/agent.

PFR is normally considered as a last resort where it is unlikely that the property will benefit in the near future from any more permanent catchment or community wide flood improvements. The provision of PFR may also reduce the benefit of providing any further investment of flood improvements in the near future. However, if the homeowner meets all the eligibility criteria and is considered high on the prioritisation list, then the provision of funding can be justified.

In order to be eligible for PFR, you must meet the following criteria. Applications that do not meet these criteria will not be considered:

  1. You must have been affected by internal flooding or be considered to be at very high risk of flooding
    1. Internal flooding is defined as water flowing into a building or household. A garage may only be included in this definition if the garage is integral to the house and not separate. Gardens and driveways are classed as external property flooding and are not included in this funding application.
    2. External flooding is not considered a priority for DCC.
  2. You must be willing/able to top-up the given funding if the quote for PFR is more than £5000 (If you have any financial queries regarding this aspect, please get in touch with the Flood Risk Team to discuss the process further).
  3. You must be able to provide evidence of the extent of the flooding, such as photographic proof.
  4. You must not also be applying for PFR funding through another scheme or funding.
  5. You must be willing/able to obtain at least three quotes from contractors and seek approval from DCC before installation commences (Special arrangements will be considered to provide assistance to those unable to arrange works with the contractor/supplier).

Prioritisation

Eligibility does not guarantee that you will receive funding. With the limited budget available each year, DCC must prioritise applications to ensure those with the highest risk are allocated funding first. Applications received will be reviewed on a quarterly basis and the highest priority cases held at that time will be progressed. Priority will be given to those homeowners who:

  1. Have flooded at least once in the last five years.
  2. Do not have a flood management scheme nearby, or one soon to be delivered, that does/will provide direct benefit to the property
    1. Consideration will be given to those who have a flood management scheme proposed nearby that is unlikely to be constructed in the near future.
  3. Are in Flood Zones 2 or 3, as shown by the Environment Agency’s Flood Map for Planning (Rivers and Sea)
  4. Are determined to be at a high risk of flooding, as shown by the Environment Agency’s Risk of Flooding maps (Rivers and Sea, Reservoirs and Surface Water). Due to DCC’s responsibility for ordinary watercourses, groundwater and surface water these will be prioritised for funding over other sources of flood risk.
  5. Have not had PFR provided previously.
  6. Have vulnerable people in the household.
  7. Live in a high-risk community, as determined by DCC.
  8. Live in an area where neighbours have benefited from PFR in the past or have an interest in this funding opportunity.

What is not covered by this policy

DCC will have no responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the PFR provided. Any defects arising, following the installation, should be taken up with the contractor who supplied the products. In the event of a flood warning, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to deploy the selected PFR equipment and ensure it is well maintained and working efficiently. With regards to this scheme, the Council exists solely to provide funding and advice.

Please refer to the disclaimer attached to the application form for more information about the responsibilities of both DCC and the homeowner.

How to apply

If you believe you meet the criteria laid out above and interested in applying for funding to support the provision of flood resilience measures to your property, then you will need to complete the application form available on the PFR page on our website.

Alternatively, if you prefer or do not have access to the internet, we can send you a paper copy of the form. In this case you should contact the Flood & Coastal Risk Management team on 0345 155 1015 and ask for Flood Risk, send your address details to floodrisk@devon.gov.uk or write to Flood Risk Management, Room 120, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD.

It is free to apply, and once you have completed the application form, return it to us using one of the two methods detailed on the form.

  1. If you return the form by email, you will receive an email (normally within 2 working days) confirming receipt of your application.
  2. If you posted the application to us, and have supplied an email address on your application, we will endeavour to send a confirmation email for these applications as well. Subject to demand it may not be possible to confirm receipt of all postal applications.

Following submission all applications will be reviewed quarterly throughout the year and a suitable number of those considered to be high priority, relative to available resource and funding, will be progressed. DCC considers all incidents that have caused internal flooding to properties to be significant, however with the limited resource and funding together with the likely high number of application requests it is not possible to provide a timescale if or when any application will be determined. If your application is successful, we will contact you, in due course, to inform you of the next steps. If for any reason, your circumstances change, following submission of an application please update us (i.e. you have experienced additional flooding, you have received PFR from elsewhere etc.).

Please note:

  1. It is the responsibility of individual property owners to protect their home from flooding, this funding scheme aims to assist them.
  2. Funding will be allocated subject to the number and priority of applications received. Meeting the required criteria does not guarantee funding.
  3. All funding payments will be made to the survey consultant and product supplier for the specific individual property. No funding will be paid direct to the property owner or their representative/agent. The product supplier must be agreed with DCC prior to works. You will not be expected to pay any portion of DCC’s funding in advance for the works/products, if requested by the supplier.
  4. This initiative is subject to minor amendments as the scheme matures.
  5. When allocations are approved and confirmed out decision is final.
  6. The funding is for delivering PFR measures and for the vast majority of properties there are PFR options that do not require planning permission. For sensitive sites (i.e. listed buildings) where there are no alternatives we will consider, on a case by case basis, the appropriateness of using some of the funding on the cost of a planning application and initial documentation. Where this exceeds the current funding limit this may require the property owner to cover the additional costs, as per the criteria of this funding initiative.
  7. The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Funding Scheme was previously known as the Property Level Resilience (PLR) Grant Scheme.