If your property was flooded as a result of last winter’s storms Desmond and Eva, you may be eligible to receive a grant of up to £5,000 under the Property Flood Resilience Grant Scheme (PFRG). Many of those eligible are yet to apply, but time is running out to do so.
The PFRG provides financial assistance in relation to the cost of appropriate flood resistance or resilience measures. It is important to note that it is not a compensation scheme, and proof of expenditure must be provided once the works have been carried out.
The measures that are (and not) appropriate will vary from property to property, so a professional survey or Report on Flood Risks should be obtained to show which measures are required. The cost of such a survey or report is likely to be recoverable under the PFRG.
The National Flood Forum’s Blue Pages is a useful directory of property flood products and services (including specialist surveyors), and is a good place to start if you are considering an application under the PFRG.
The grants are administered by local councils, so the application form you need will depend upon the location of your property. This also means that eligibility criteria vary depending on which council serves your property.
Some will insist upon evidence that your property was flooded as a result of last winter’s storms, which may be difficult to provide in areas that have flooded since then, or in relation to a property that has also flooded due to a burst pipe. Others only require that a report shows your property to be in a flood-risk area.
As with the eligibility criteria, there is no single deadline by which an application must be submitted.
The deadline for applying to West Lancashire Borough Council, for example, was 31 October 2016, but applications are still being considered as long as the works will be completed by 31 March 2017. On the other hand, the deadline for submission to local councils in Cumbria is now 31 March 2017, and the works are to be completed by 30 June 2017.
Wyre Council has recently published an appeal urging local residents to submit their applications before a deadline of 19 December 2016.
Whichever council serves your property, if you think you may be eligible to receive funds under the PFRG you must act quickly. The resistance and resilience measures available under the PFRG cannot completely flood-proof your property, but they might bring your insurance premiums down and they will help to bring you added peace of mind.
For further advice on this issue, or any other property legal matter, contact Robert Burn by email or on 01772 258321. At Harrison Drury we have lawyers based in Preston, Lancaster, Garstang, Kendal and Clitheroe.