Flood Risk Management Plans and Local Flood Risk Management Plans

Closed 31 Oct 2021

Opened 21 Dec 2020

Feedback updated 23 Mar 2022

We asked

SEPA and local authorities worked in partnership to develop and consult on flood risk management plans.

Plans are best if they are informed by local knowledge and help tackle issues that matter to communities in Scotland. This is why the consultation on the flood risk management plans was vital, to help ensure that we get the right actions in the right places.

SEPA hosted the joint consultation on the flood risk management plans and local flood risk management plans on the citizen space platform.

The consultation was carried out in two phases between December 2020 and October 2021. The consultation was open to everyone with an interest in flood risk management. The views SEPA has received during the consultation provide a useful insight into public knowledge and understanding.

You said

In total SEPA received 677 responses. This included 654 online responses and an additional 23 email responses, 77% of responses were from members of the public.

Read the full summary of consultation responses.


We did

SEPA has reviewed the feedback received. Some feedback resulted in changes made to the final flood risk management plans and these are summarised below.

Summary of changes made to the plans following the consultation

1. Further actions were added to manage flood risk in several target areas.

2. Additional Local Plan District actions were added.

3. Some actions were removed from the flood risk management plans at the request of local authorities responsible for their delivery due to completion in the time between consultation and publication.

4. Further information was included on how climate change was assessed in the preparation of the plans.

5. Further information was included on how potentially vulnerable areas were identified, and when they will be reviewed again.

6. Information was included on the progress made in implementing actions and working towards objectives in the 2015 strategies.

7. A target area boundary was amended based on new information provided.

8. A description of the importance of community actions, recognising the work that communities do to manage flooding was included, along with further information on where support is available to help people reduce their own flood risk.

9. A description of the catchment-based approach SEPA has taken, and the role it plays in delivering flood risk management actions was provided.

10. The link between flood risk management plans and land use planning was clarified.

11. Habitats Regulations Appraisal statements were added to each relevant action.

12. Some other changes were made to the way information is presented to try to make it clearer e.g., on the timing of actions being carried out.

13. Further information was provided on the uncertainty associated with funding of flood risk management actions.



This is the consultation hub for Scotland’s draft flood risk management plans (previously called the flood risk management strategies) and local flood risk management plans. The consultation is being delivered in two phases. 

Phase one of the consultation opened on the 21 December 2020 with draft information for the flood risk management plans available for review. This consisted of background information for Local Plan Districts and Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs) and identifies localised target areas.

In phase two, opening on 30th July 2021, draft information on the flood risk management plans and local flood risk management plans will be available with consultation questions. The information in phase two includes draft objectives and actions to manage flooding in target areas. Phase 2 of the consultation also includes information and questions on the Strategic Environmental Assessment carried out for the flood risk management plans.

We encourage you to provide your views and shape the way that flood risk is managed in Scotland.

If you have any enquiries regarding the consultation, please contact frmplanning@sepa.org.uk.   Please enter 'FRM Consultation' in the subject line.

Why your views matter

It is estimated there are 284,000 homes, businesses and services at risk of flooding in Scotland. Climate change is projected to increase this number by an estimated 110,000 by the 2080s. The flood risk management plans and local flood risk management plans work together to set the short to long term objectives and establish how actions will be delivered to manage the devastating impact of flooding. The plans embed information on climate change to establish the actions required now to adapt to future flood risk and ensure Scotland is resilient to flooding. 

SEPA and local authorities have worked in partnership to develop and refine these updated plans.

By responding to the consultation, you can have your say on how flood risk is managed in Scotland in the future.

What are flood risk management plans?

First produced in 2015 and referred to as the SEPA’s flood risk management strategies, the flood risk management plans coordinate and concentrate efforts by multiple organisations to tackle flooding in Scotland. 

A flood risk management plan is produced for each of Scotland’s fourteen Local Plan Districts. Areas within Local Plan Districts where significant flood risk exists are called Potentially Vulnerable Areas (PVAs). These PVAs, designated by ministers in 2018, are used to identify the key target communities and infrastructure where flood risk management could provide the greatest benefit.

Each flood risk management plan has been developed in collaboration with other public agencies to present flood risk management objectives. Actions needed to meet these objectives are identified for target communities and infrastructure. The development of corresponding local flood risk management plans for each Local Plan District, is informed by the objectives and actions identified in the flood risk management plan. Together, these documents determine the long term priorities and shorter term actions to reduce the impact of flooding in Scotland.  

What are the local flood risk management plans?

The local flood risk management plans turn the flood risk management plans into a local delivery plan. 

These local flood risk management plans are produced by lead local authorities for each Local Plan District. They provide additional detail on how and when the actions identified in the flood risk management plans will be delivered and coordinated locally. Coordinated plans help us make the most effective use of shared resources by targeting areas where the greatest benefit of intervention can be realised.

What is the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the flood risk management plans?

The Strategic Environmental Assessment looks at the likely environmental effects of the draft flood risk management plans. It considers the potential effects of the types of actions identified for each of the 14 Flood risk management plans and, on a combined basis, across Scotland.

Please view the map below to understand which Local Plan District is of interest to you.

Local Plan Districts

What happens next

Once the consultation has closed, where it has been agreed by the respondent, consultation responses will be shared with the relevant local authority. SEPA will develop a digest of responses. This digest will be completed by 31 December and will be submitted to Scottish Ministers. The responses provided during the consultation will be considered to develop the final versions of the flood risk management plans and the local flood risk management plans.


  • Local Authorities
  • Responsible Authorities
  • Landowners/ managers
  • National Parks
  • SEPA Staff
  • EA, SEPA and NRW Staff


  • Flood Risk Management Planning