Flooding and Crop Losses

Flooding and land management has become an issue of particular importance for farmers and landowners.  S.19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 requires the lead local flood authority, on becoming aware of a flood in its area, to investigate which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions; and whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised, or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood. The failure of the Council in this case to undertake that review resulted in confusion about what powers were being exercised.  Although a number of agencies were involved in the response the Tribunal concluded that it was the Council which was exercising its flood risk management under the Act.

In 2012/2013 there was serious flooding in the village of Burton Fleming.  Flood water was pumped away from residential properties in the village. This claim concerns crop losses allegedly caused by the pumping of flood waters and is a decision which is likely to have far reaching effects in respect of other claims. 

The Farming Company claimed that as a result of pumping flood water away from the village, one of its fields further downstream suffered additional flooding and lost part of a carrot crop.  It was clear that various agencies had been involved in the flood risk management work but the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) found that the council had acted as lead local flood authority.  The council was ordered to pay damages for the crop losses.

Robert Lindley Ltd v. East Riding of Yorkshire Council [2016]