Flood Risk Management and Climate Adaptation Scilly

Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA)

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for the islands has a duty to develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management in its area.

The Isles of Scilly Local Flood Risk Management Strategy aims to reduce the number of people and properties at risk, increase community resilience and reduce the social and economic impact of flooding.

Local flood risk is defined as flood risk from surface runoff, groundwater and ordinary water courses, including references to lakes, ponds or other area of water which flows into an ordinary water course. However it is coastal erosion, tidal action and coastal flooding that pose by far and away the most significant flood risk to the islands. It is for this reason that the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy has been expanded to include the threat of coastal flooding. The Environment Agency is responsible for coastal flood and erosion risk management in England.

The strategy will help the local communities and businesses to better understand and manage flood risk on the islands. It includes an overview of flood risk on the islands and sets out the co-ordinated approach to managing and reducing these risks.The Strategy links national, regional and local approaches to flood risk management and needs to be considered alongside other strategies such as the local plan, transport plans, critical infrastructure planning, sustainable development, environmental and economic objectives.

The Strategy is due for review in June 2021. 


Climate Adaptation Scilly

The Climate Adaptation Scilly Project aims to adapt the islands to the threats of existing and future flooding and erosion to its community, wildlife, economy, and scarce water supply. Running until June 2023 and funded by £3.6m in grants from the European Regional Development Fund and the Environment Agency, the programme of environmentally sensitive improvements designed to reduce floods and coastal erosion will increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Climate change affects the Isles of Scilly proportionally more than any other English district. Defences against coastal flooding will include new demountable seawalls at Old Town and Hugh Town on St Mary's. Dunes will be re-nourished with new sand and re-planted to help protect against both erosion and coastal flooding on St Mary's, St Agnes, Bryher and St Martin's. In addition, rainwater storage will be installed on St Mary’s, St Martin’s, Bryher and St Agnes.

The project's outcomes will include:

  • Reduced flood risk for over 80 businesses and over 90 homes

  • Improving and protecting 45 hectares of designated habitat

  • Sustaining, securing & increasing freshwater supplies

  • Sensitively restoring the natural adaptive capabilities of coastal dunes on St Mary's, St Agnes, Bryher and St Martin's.

  • Improving local coastal defences around Hugh Town, Old Town and freshwater catchment areas on St Mary’s

Further information on Climate Adaptation Scilly can be found here.