Hampshire County Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority for the county. Information can be found on Hampshire County Council's website. The District Council's land drainage team works closely with the County Council to record and investigate flooding incidents in the New Forest and is involved in the Council's emergency response to flooding. The team also provides advice about flood prevention and comments on the surface water drainage aspects of planning applications. The team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flooding is a natural occurrence and no drainage system or flood protection measure can give absolute protection against all flooding events. Flooding can occur anywhere because the drainage system, whether by open watercourse or pipes, can be overwhelmed by the volume of water it is expected to carry.
There is no statutory requirement for a local authority to prevent property from flooding. The primary responsibility rests with the property owner. The Council encourages homeowners, local communities and businesses to prepare their own flood action plans prior to flooding occurring. The Environment Agency has published a guide to preparing a Personal Flood Plan.
The most effective way of protecting property at risk from flooding is by means of proprietary systems that are available from companies specialising in flood mitigation. Further advice on property flood resistance and resilience can be obtained from the National Flood Forum.
The Environment Agency operates a free service called Floodline Warnings Direct that provides flood warnings by phone, text or email to property owners in flood risk areas. The Council supports this service and recommends those living in flood risk areas to follow the advice of the Environment Agency.
The Council does not provide sandbags for general issue to householders or businesses. It will maintain a limited stock of sandbags to meet its own needs in responding to a flood emergency and to help householders and businesses to respond to a one-off, unexpected and exceptional emergency situation. In such an event sandbags will be deployed to protect (in order of priority) life, critical infrastructure and buildings. Sandbags will not be used to protect gardens, outbuildings or other non-residential structures.
The Council recognises that the impact of flooding on the community can be significant and works closely with the Lead Local Flood Authority, the Environment Agency and the emergency services to plan for and respond to emergency flooding events and to assist the community to recover from such events.