Latest news                                                                                                                                      Page last updated: 13.02.2017


13 February 2017  Flood Re.  Mike Curtis, co-chair CVFF has written an update on Flood Re. (Flood Re Update Febuary 2017 click to open).


13 October 2016     Modelling meeting (UWE Projects Update 22 September 2016 click to open) with Prof Nevil Quinn. Several members of the Steering group met with Nevil Quinn to discuss issues with the EA flooding model for the Chew Valley area, and the scope for retaining water higher in the catchment arera to reduce flood level.

                                                                                                                       

24 April 2016 B&NES as Lead Local Flood Authority  B&NES has rewritten its Council web pages regarding flood risk. It provides links to find out about flood risk from rivers and surface water and how to manage your flood risk; explanations of types of flooding and riparian ownership, and requirements for new development proposals in terms of surface water drainage and flood risk. http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/environment/lead-local-flood-authority


19 April 2016  Flood Re.  Mike Curtis, co-chair CVFF has written an update on Flood Re which commenced on 4th April and welcomes feedback on how the scheme is affecting insurance premiums and excesses (Flood Re Update March 2016 click to open).


27 February 2016  Flood re.  Mike Curtis, co-chair CVFF, attended a meeting in Taunton on 11 February. Detailed notes are attached concerning coverage, elgibility and costs for householders (Flood re roadshow Feb 2016 click to open)


22 December 2015  The updated Chew Magna Parish Community Flood Plan 2015 is now avaliable - see the Background Reports section.


16 December 2015 Property Insurance : Flood Re Scheme. An update from Mike Curtis, CVFF Co-Chair on the progress to implement Flood Re from April 2016 is attached (Property Insurance click to open).


16 October 2016  B&NES Council Local Flood Risk Management Strategy  The consultation on the draft strategy ends on 26 October.  To review the strategy and leave feedback please visit their website (http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/consultations/local-flood-risk-management-strategy ).  B&NES' Drainage & Flooding Team advises that the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy:

  1. Sets out their understanding of the risk of flooding in Bath & North East Somerset, with a particular focus on ‘local flooding’, which includes flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses (typically small streams and ditches).
  2. Explains the roles and responsibilities of those involved in managing flood risk
  3. Provides information to help local communities, individuals and businesses better understand flooding and the steps they can take to manage flood risks
  4. Sets out how they will guide new development to consider flood risk and surface water drainage
  5. Contains an Action Plan setting out the measures they, and their partners, will take to manage the risks of local flooding.


15 October 2015  B&NES' Local Flood Representatives  Following a meeting of respresentatives on 8th October, the B&NES Drainage and Flooding Team has provided two documents as attached. First, a contact list for B&NES, Bristol Water and the Environment Agency ('Local Flood Rep contact sheet' click to open), and secondly a Powerpoint presentation outlining the work of the Drainage and Flooding Team, the role and flood reps, and more ('LFR Meeting' click to open).


18 August 2015 Chew Magna Flood Modelling  Copies of the Environment Agency presentation slides at the public meeting held on 28 July 2015 are attached (see under Background Reports). A set of maps is also included.


12 July 2015 Public Meeting on Computer Modelling Results The long awaited meeting for The Environment Agency (EA) to present the results of its flood modelling, will be held on Tuesday 28 July at 7pm Upper Hall Old School Room Chew Magna. The meeting is open to everyone and is an opportunity to learn more about the conditions that caused the 2012 floods and hear The EA's analysis of various flood mitigation scenarios. The results of the modelling also address de-silting and the effects of Bristol Water's Reservoirs on flooding.

Please make every effort to attend, as this presentation is likely to be the last The EA will hold on the floods and how best to protect against any recurrence.


7 July 2015 Flood Re scheme for flood insurance. DEFRA have issued a letter, copy attached (pdf) stating that revised draft Statutory Instruments were laid before Parliament on 1 July. The letter states "Subject to Parliamentary agreement, these draft Regulations will ensure that flood insurance continues to be widely available and affordable for domestic properties in areas of high flood risk. They will do so without placing unsustainable costs on those living at low flood risk or the wider taxpayer." The expected date for the new insurance scheme to take effect is April 2016.


7 July 2015  Property Level Protection - ownership of equipment  B&NES have written to all homeowners where equipment was fitted in phases 1(2010/11) and 2 (2015) to state that all equipment is the property of the homeowner.  A copy of their letter is attached (pdf). This letter has been sent to all homeowners affected.


10 April 2015 CANCELLED - Public Meeting on Computer Modelling Results  The EA has told the CVFF that they are postponing the meeting (see next item) ehich they had set up for 14 April. The EA states "We believe it is important to be able to share all the information with you in the most accessible form as soon as possible. At the moment, we do not think we can do this.

I appreciate this will be disappointing for you, and it is likely to be a few weeks before we can reschedule the meeting. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and frustration this is likely to cause. Although it has taken a long time, we are nearly there and should be able to rearrange the meeting in the coming weeks.

I apologise once again for the late notice of this cancellation and any inconvenience caused. I will contact you again as soon as possible with a confirmed date for the postponed meeting."


4 April 2015  Public Meeting on Computer Modelling Results  The Environment Agency has arranged with the Chew Magna Parish Council to present the longawaited results of the EA Flood Modelling. The meeting will be on Tuesday 14 April at 7pm in the Old School Room Chew Magna, and is open to everyone.  The EA will present their analysis of the conditions that caused the floods and of the various mitigation scenarios. The meeting will also address de-silting and the effects of Bristol Water's Reservoirs on flooding.


19 February 2015 The Environment Agency have asked the CVFF to inform residents who have been supplied with puddle pumps as part of the current phase of PLP of the following information from UK Flood Barriers. Apparently a number of questions have been asked about their operation. The pump weighs about 10 - 12 kilos and does not need a bucket of water to start.  It should automatically start, but if it does not you can tip a cup of water down the pipe to start it.


28 January 2015 The Environment Agency which is currently upgrading property level protection in Chew Magna is concerned that several householders have not returned their Legal Agreement, and their deadline of 13 February is fast approaching. Please see the attached EA  2015_installation update (click to open) from the EA for details and how to contact them.


11 November 2014  Environment Agency Flood action campaign briefing Nov 2014 The EA is running a campaign to get people to prepare in advance for flooding.  Details in the attached bulletin (click to open) which also refers to more detil on their website at www.gov.uk/floodsdestroy.


31 October 2014  Enhanced Property Level Poptection (PLP) The Environment Agency have prepared a briefing on the Quality, Installation and sign off (Word doc click to open).for the programme.  This briefing (dated as September but actually for October) will be sent to homeowners togther with the legal agreement. It sets out the process, involving (UK Flood Barriers (UKFB and E C Harris, independent consultant, and aspects such as maintenance of equipment and the legal agreement.


31 October 2014  Enhanced Property Level Protection (PLP) Questions raised by the CVFF The Environment Agency have now responded to the series of questions raised by CVFF members some time ago.  These responses are attached (Word doc. click to open).


16 October 2014  Enhanced Property Level Protection Surveys Some residents have expressed concern to the CVFF about the recent property surveys. Rachel Wilson, CVFF Co-Chair sent a summary of these concerns to Deborah Stokes at the Environment Agency, as the EA officer responsible for the Chew Magna upgrade.  Rachel's message and Deborah's reply are attached (Word doc, click to open).


15 September 2014 There will be a meeting of the Chew Valley Flood Forum at 7.30PM on Thursday 25 September.

All villagers in the Valley interested in flooding, particularly those who already have or will be receiving Property Level Protection, are invited to a meeting to be held in Chew Magna Baptist Church Hall on Thursday 25 September, starting at 7.30pm.

The meeting will provide updates on the improvement of flood warnings, the Environment Agency’s flood modelling results, the Chew Magna and Chew Stoke Parish Councils’ flood warden schemes, house insurance and B&NES’s road drainage works. The CVFF Steering Committee also would like to explain its concerns regarding the Enhanced Property Level Protection Scheme in Chew Magna (Word doc atttached, click to open),and pass on information that householders should know when agreeing to the equipment to be installed and during its installation.

This is an opportunity for everyone affected by flooding to share their knowledge and raise their concerns.

If you would like to be on the CVFF e-mail distribution list to receive information and updates on our work with B&NES, The Environment Agency, local Parish Councils and Bristol Water, please e-mail the Secretary at [email protected] . Your e-mail address will not be given to anyone else.


6 August 2014 Offer of Enhanced Property Level Protection Residents who have been offered enhanced PLP have been sent a letter from the Environment Agency which should arrive imminently, setting out details of the implementation phase. The EA are to hold further drop-in sessions (the first will be on Thursday 14th August between 3 and 7pm in the Millennium Hall) where you can discuss your measures and agree a date for the contractor to come and inspect your property.


6 August 2014  Interim Modelling results - meeting with Environment Agency and B&NES on 29 July. The Steering Committee together with its adviser Prof Nevil Quinn (UWE) and Parish Councillor Bob Luton met with the EA, Bristol Water and B&NES to learn the initial results. The model is based on the hydrology of the area (see item under 23 July) combined with the best records of the amount of rainfall (and the extent and depth of flooding) during the September and November 2012 flood events.  At this stage the scenarios covered were the influence of Chew Valley Lake assuming various amounts of 'fullness', the impact of the Stanton Road bridge (B3130 near Norton Lane), the effect if a weir below this bridge was removed, the influence of realigning the confluence of the River Chew and Winford Brook, and the influence of lowering the Chew Magna Reservoir. The modelling suggests that implementing schemes based on these scenarios would have a modest beneficial impact. The Steering Committee has asked for further analysis of these results and conclusions. The EA is stiil to complete other scenarios.  For a detailed note on all of this see the attached notes. The meeting also discussed the current state of play with the enhanced PLP, and some issues around flood warnings  Notes on this meeting are attached Word doc click to open. The EA will organise with Chew Magna Parish Council a public presentation of the Chew Magna modelling results after the summer holidays.


The EA will be holding a separate meeting with Chew Stoke Parish Council in due course to consider the Chew Stoke modelling.

23 July 2014  Hydrology meeting with Professor Nevil Quinn  On 18th July some of the CVFF Steering Committee met with Prof Quinn who has been advising us on the hydrological aspects of the JBA Consultants work on modelling for the Environment Agency.  Notes on this meeting are attached (word doc click to open).  The Steering Committee are also due to meet with the EA, JBA, Bristol Water and B&NES on 29th July to discuss the consultants report on the outcome of the hydraulic modelling of the local water catchment.  After that meeting it is intended to invite Chew Valley Flood Forum members to a meeting where the results can be presented and we can discuss the prospects for schemes which might help reduce flood impact.


2 June 2014 The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has just published (pdf attached click to open) 'Best Practice in Property Level Protection Systems - Advice for Local Authorities.'  This gives advice on the best practice to follow when procuring and installing property level protection systems. The best practice is based on evaluation work carried out by JBA ConsultingJBA Consulting also prepared the major reports into the 2012 Chew Magna and Chew Stoke floods, and are also managing the current Chew Magna project to enhance property level protection.


19 May 2014  River Chew Catchment Modelling Fact Sheet The EA have provided more background on the aims and scope of their modelling for the River Chew, the Chew Stoke Stream, the Regil Stream and Winford Brook. The Fact sheet (pdf attached click to open) summarises the aims, scope and timetable for producing the modelling. The Flood Forum hopes the modelling will help identify schemes to reduce the impact of flooding.


15 May 2014  Proposed drainage improvements on Tunbridge Road The Drainage and Flooding Team at B&NES have provided a draft drawing (attached, pdf click to open) showing the drainage improvement works proposed for Tunbridge Road. The aim of the scheme is to remove obstructions from the drains to restore full capacity. At the same time the gullys will be improved to maximise the inflow of water and minimise the potential for grills blocking and pots silting up. An additional gully is proposed to replace a failed soakaway which was removed a while back. Improvements are also to be made to the chambers on the system to allow better access for inspection and maintenance.


14 May 2014 Chew Magna Flood Surgery held yesterday, and Newsletter. Many residents attended the drop-in session to discuss the proposed PLP enhancements. Those attending were also asked to sign an expression of interest if they wanted the scheme for their property taken forward to the procurement stage. At that point residents will need to give formal approval before installation, etc. Residents who did not visit the session will now be contacted by the EA and B&NES to check if they wish to proceed or not.  Also the EA and B&NES circulated an updated newsletter (Chew Magna Flood Surgery May 2014 (pdf attached, click to open). The Newsletter covers not only the PLP but also other developments including the statement that up to a maximum of £830,000 public funding is available in Chew Magna. The exact sum which any scheme or schemes could benefit from will depend on national EA criteria. The Flood Forum Steering Committee has provided the EA with its expectations from the flood modelling which is nearing completion, and hopes that suitable schemes will be identified to minimise flooding in Chew Magna and Chew Stoke. More details are in the Newsletter, and a further Fact Sheet on modelling (as made available to those attending the session yesterday) will be posted here as soon as the electronic version is received.


4 May 2014 Drainage matters in Chew Magna and Chew Stoke In April the Co-Chairs contacted B&NES drainage section to ask for a response to a number of questions about cleansing of drains and gullies in the area. The questions and the B&NES reply are attached (Word doc - click to open).  


26 April 2014 B&NES allocation of £200,000 for flood protection work. All properties recently surveyed (2014) by JBA Consultants should have received letters from the Environment Agency jointly with B&NES setting out in detail the results of the survey and the propoosed action for their property.  They have arranged a drop-in flood surgery at the Old School Rooms in Chew Magna between 2pm and 8pm on Tuesday 13 May. If your property was surveyed but you have not received your letter please contact the Chew Valley Flood Forum using the contact form (to be found under the 'More' menu) so that we can give you the contact details at the EA.


3 April 2014  Flood Warnings - notes on a meeting held with the Environment Agency on 28th March attached (Word doc - click to open).  The meeting was called to consider how Flood Warning forecasting can be improved.


28 March 2014  House insurance - National Flood Forum advice If you are finding it difficult to obtain house insurance because of flood risk, the National Flood Forum (NFF) offer support.  The attached letter from the NFF (Pdf click to open) gives the number for their insurance telephone helpline.  The cvff Steering Committee had a useful meeting with a NFF representative yesterday and will be taking action based on the advice received - more on this to follow shortly.


22 March 2014 Use of local reservoirs for flood control.  Correspondence from Bristol Water Chief Executive, and Jacob Rees-Mogg MP is attached.  Bristol Water state they do not attempt to use the reservoirs as flood control devices and have no legal requirement to do so. However they do say they are working with the other authorities to "understand what system changes may mitigate any residual flood risks." Letters (Pdf - click to open)


11 March 2014 Co-Chairs Rachel Wilson and Mike Curtis submitted questions for response by B&NES Planning, Transport & Environment Scrutiny Panel meeting on 4 March 2014.  These questions covered issues such as outstanding matters concerning UK Flood Barriers, how the £200,000 alocation for Chew Magna PLP will be disbursed, and the proposed Strategic Flood Risk Management Group.  The full list of questions asked, and the Scrutiny Panel response, is attached here (Word doc click to open).


11 March 2014  Following on from B&NES proposal to allocate £200,000 for flood protection work (see Press Release 4 February here (Word doc click to open) B&NES Council gave approval in principle to the scheme on 18 February, subject to further design work and report.  The scheme proposes improvements to property level protection such as dewatering pumps or further barriers.


22 February 2014  See attached correspondence to Co-Chair Mike Curtis from our MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and to the MP from the Environment Agency (South West Director, Richard Cresswell) concerning the modelling work and the reassessment of property Level protection measures - Letters from Jacob Rees-Mogg and Environment Agency Feb 2014 (Word doc, click to open). The Co-Chairs also think it is important the forum members know the MP is active on our behalf. In addition to the above, he has contacted the ABI concerning the importance of affordable insurance and also Bristol Water, who advised they were working with Lead Authorities to investigate and understand what system changes could mitigate flood risk.


1 February 2014  CVFF Co-Chair Mike Curtis exchanged emails in early January with Bristol Water requesting action to reduce the water level of the Chew Valley Reservoir, because of the risk associated with high rainfall coupled with a full lake. The text of these emails is attached (Lake level reduction request 06 01 2014 , Word doc click to open).  Subsequently Mike exchanged emails with Ed Lockington and Joby Graham (Environment Agency), and this correspondence together with Mike's comments and update is attached (Lake level reduction iss Jan 2014. Word doc click to open).


24 January 2014  Chew Valley Reservoir levels and drain off matters.  Attached are two pieces of correspondence between the Flood Forum and Martin Berry of Bristol Water relating to the issues around active management of water levels. 1) Martin Berry 18 Oct (Word doc, click to open), and 2) BW Response to 22 Oct questions (pdf, click to open).


Important 14 January 2014  BANES have appointed JBA Consulting (who produced the reports into the 2012 floods) to conduct further surveys of the 69 properties which were provided with the PLP equipment.  Letters on this were sent to all households in December. The Co-Chairs, Rachel Wilson and Mike Curtis are very concerned that as of 14 January only 25 home-owners have booked appointments for this survey work.  The period for these surveys is narrow because JBA are currently undertaking these, and they are scheduled to end by 24 January. A letter from JBA Consulting is attached (Word doc, click to open). This letter also provides contact details to arrange a survey.


10 December 2013 Responses from B&NES & the EA to questions raised by Chew Valley Flood Forum concerning Chew Stoke (pdf, click to open) Following the flooding in Chew Stoke in 2012 Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) and the Environment Agency (EA) commissioned an investigation into the floods. The results of the investigation were published during September 2013. This joint document with B&NES and the EA forms a response to questions raised by members of the public and the Chew Valley Flood Forum regarding the contents of the reports and other related issues. The EA have also provided the following document Chew Stoke Flood Risk Workshop Property Level Protection (PLP) Frequently Asked Questions (pdf, click to open).


5 December 2013 The Chew Stoke public meeting with B&NES, EA and BW will take place at 7.30pm on Monday 9 December in Chew Stoke, St. Andrews Church Hall (aka the Village Hall) at the corner of Pilgrim's Way and Church Lane. The new PLP planned to be installed in Chew Stoke will be on the agenda.


4 December 2013 Responses to questions raised by Chew Magna Flood Forum (pdf, click to open) The attached document provides the response from B&NES, Bristol Water and the Environment Agency to the questions raised at the Flood Forum meeting on 1 October and also at the Public Meeting on 8 October. The public meeting was attended by the three organisations/agencies above. (This response is also archived on the Background reports page.)


28 November 2013  The Co-Chairs attended a meeting of the B&NES Planning, Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel on 20 November to discuss progress.  Their report (click to open) is now available. Secondly, prior to the public meeting on 8 October the Forum raised a series of questions of B&NES and the other organisations - the Response from B&NES (click to open) is also now available. Both of these documents are also on our Background reports page.


23 November 2013  Bristol Water have prepared for the Flood Forum a Technical note (click to open) on the operation, capacity and management of the Chew Magna Reservoir. This restates the point made, e.g. on page 20 in the Chew Magna Flood Investigation Final Report (see below) that this reservoir has limited capacity to cope with high levels of flooding. This aspect is to be looked at in more detail when the modelling software becomes available (hopefully by the Spring).


Insurance 21 November 2013  The Government recently consulted on proposals to ensure that domestic property insurance continues to be widely available and affordable in areas of flood risk in the UK.  The Chew Valley Flood Forum provided a response to this consultation. DEFRA has now published its detailed response, which can be accessed via the Gov.uk website - Government Response (click to open). DEFRA is committed to ensuring that Flood Re is implemented but also will take steps to legislate for a Flood Insurance Obligation, to be implemented if Flood Re proves unworkable at any stage or would not deliver its goals, or if pricing for high risk households under a free market approach proves to be unacceptable. Full details of these proposals are set out in the DEFRA document.


19 October 2013 Information from Mike Curtis, Co-Chair updating forum members about the proposed Flood Re Insurance scheme   is attached. This includes a request for forum members to write to our MP (and suggested text is provided). Please contact (using the Contact Us page) Mike or Rachel if you have any problems getting insurance.


12 November 2013 the National Flood Forum have relaunched their monthly Bulletin - click to open pdf on their website. They say their bulletin will "be packed with information informing you of what’s happening within the National Flood Forum – expansion left, right and centre – and from the realms of flood risk management, largely from the most important perspective: yours, the communities at flood risk."


The Steering Committee met with representatives of B&NES and the Environment Agency (EA) on 12 September 2013 (minutes of this meeting are in the Minutes page) for an initial discussion on the draft reports produced for B&NES by JBA Consulting (as referred to under Current Investigations. (click to open)  (Reports now published, see links in Background Reports section). 


4 November 2013  In early October we posted an email to Rachel Wilson, Co-Chair, from the Environment Agency about river/brook maintenance of is attached as a Word document (click to open).  Associated with that email we posted EA maps and other information concerning river maintenance for the Winford Brook and River Chew at Dumpers Lane. The Environment Agency have now provided revised maps because they felt that the previous ones were not clear enough.  They have also provided details of their 'check rounds'. The EA states that check rounds are undertaken when they are expecting heavy rain and high flows in the rivers, and that they check bridges, culverts, weirs, etc to ensure they are free from debris and blockages.   The new documents are: Chew Magna Annual Maintenance (Dumpers Lane) (pdf click to open); Chew Magna Check Rounds (Dumpers Lane) (pdf click to open); Chew Magna Annual Maintenance (Winford Brook) (pdf click to open); Chew Magna Check Rounds (Winford Brook) (pdf click to open).  Finally, the EA also state that "It is important to note that our current maintenance activities in Chew Magna are not guaranteed and can change depending on economic justification and our funding allocation from central government. In addition, as with all our work, maintenance has to be prioritised and justified technically, environmentally as well economically."

4 November 2013 The EA have also asked us to post two documents covering riparian powers click to open) and riparian ownership duties click to open).  There is an EA publication which sets out the rights and responsibilities of riparian owners called Living on the Edge which is on the EA website (click to open, and follow the link on their web page).

The date, time and venue of the Chew Stoke Event, to be arranged by the Chew Stoke Parish Council is not yet known. The Events are for all comers, not just CVFF members, and it is hoped that people will use these opportunities to discuss their concerns and find out what further action the organisations intend to take.


The Briefing papers on Chew Magna (click to open)  and Chew Stoke (click to open) have more on this.


B&NES council intends to establish a Flood Working Group with representatives of the EA, Bristol Water, Parish Councils, the Chew Valley Flood Forum, etc to identify and resolve outstanding problems reported by the public.


The work by the Environment Agency leading to the creation of a computer model for use in predicting the consequences of a variety of scenarios may be available this coming autumn.  As and when this model becomes available the Forum will seek to be involved in subsequent analysis and discussions.


Insurance - on 27 June the Government and the insurance industry agreed a new national insurance deal. A report on the BBC website (click to open) provided more details. More details about insurance are included in the Minutes of the Steering Group held on 6th August (see Background Reports section).  An exchange of letters in August 2013 between Jacob Rees-Mogg MP and Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, concerning Flood Re and the need for affordable flood insurance (click to open) is attached.


If your insurance company asks for an Insurance Related Request (IRR), you can request this from the Environment Agency using this contact email address: mailto:[email protected] (click to open)  See the Environment Agency website for details about this, and what information they need to respond to your request:  http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31654.aspx (click to open)

See also the National Flood Forum (click to open) website for other news.