Yorkshire Property Flood Resilience Pathfinder project update

Shelley Evans recently presented on the latest developments in the Yorkshire Property Flood Resilience Pathfinder Project, with Steve Wragg from the City of York project team, as part of a CIWEM-hosted webinar on flood resilience. A recording of this webinar is available here.

What is the Yorkshire pathfinder project?

The Yorkshire Property Flood Resilience Pathfinder is one of three national Defra commissioned projects running between September 2019 and March 2021. The project, led by Steve Wragg from the City of York Council, is a collaboration of professionals from the private, public and academic sector, which is being project managed on behalf of the Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Partnership (iCASP) by Shelley Evans from JBA Consulting.

The project aim is to identify through qualitative and quantitative data collection what barriers exist to the uptake of Property Flood Resilience (PFR) across all stakeholder groups and across the Yorkshire RFCC region. The evidence from this data will then be used to develop and deliver ways to overcome the stakeholders barriers to the uptake of PFR, to help increase levels of resilience to future flooding in Yorkshire.

Pathfinder project teamHow are we involved?

The Yorkshire Pathfinder project is divided into four distinct work packages: Pathfinder work packages

Work package 1: JBA Consulting and iCASP.

Working with the iCASP academic team at the University of Leeds, the first phase of the project will require carrying out qualitative and quantitative data research across the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC), benchmarking current knowledge, and identifying any barriers to the uptake of PFR measures across all stakeholder groups.

The surveying and interviewing process began in February 2020 and will continue until the survey closing date of 31st May 2020.  The following stakeholder groups were targeted:

  1. Households, businesses or community groups (e.g. landlords, residents and flood groups)
  2. Property, trade, building suppliers or outlets (e.g. developers, maintenance contractors)
  3. Financial influencers (e.g. insurance industry, mortgage lenders, investors)
  4. Flood Risk Management Authorities (e.g. Environment Agency, Lead Local Flood Authority, Water Company)

The responses to these surveys and interviews are in the process of being analysed by the project team.

Shelley and Steve presented the initial findings from some of the evidence emerging from the quantitative and qualitative research in their recent CIWEM webinar, where they asked delegates the question:

How should demonstration projects, educational events and awareness programmes with at risk communities, building and insurance industries and all public and private professional services in Yorkshire be undertaken?

Examples of findings to emerge from the research are:

Occupancy/Tenancy: Where properties are owned by landlords and occupied by tenants, PFR measures may be put in place by the owner, however the onus is then on the tenant to implement these measures during a flood event. Another example is in owner-occupied terraced properties, where PFR measures may be in place for one or more of the properties, but if they are not implemented by all properties then flood damage may still occur from neighbouring unprotected properties.

Insurance: Another area highlighted by the research is within the financial sector and raises the question of whether PFR measures are, or can be included during the reinstatement process of insurance claims, to help protect properties from any future flood events? This highlights further issues about intervention at the reinstatement stage and also about the cost and funding of PFR measure.

Work Package 2: City of York Council.

This second phase of the project involves collating existing educational and awareness resources around PFR, and developing materials where there are gaps in required information – for example workshops, presentations, a PFR model and demonstration materials to showcase PFR and wider flood risk measures. It also involves developing an online platform to promote a range of existing online guidance resources on flood risk and PFR to the public, and co-developing a physical demonstration site at Wilberforce College with the Living with Water initiative.

Work package 3: City of York Council.

The third phase of the project will involve hosting an online PFR tool to signpost relevant resources and share local knowledge and experience of flood recovery. Using social media platforms to spread awareness of PFR, particularly through campaigns with Partners. Once safe to do so, PFR awareness presentations will be hosted throughout Yorkshire – aimed at a range of recipients including schools, local planning authority officers, developers, the insurance industry, communities etc. These will be co-delivered with the Wilberforce College Learning Centre a programme of events.

Work package 4: JBA Consulting and iCASP

The final stage of the project will ask the question: what has changed? This will involve repeating the qualitative and quantitative research carried out in WP1, to evidence and evaluate the impact of the project, and to demonstrate a difference in attitude, perception and uptake of PFR following the materials and exercises in Work Packages 2 and 3.

What next?

With the close of the survey, and Work Package 1 on the 31st May 2020, the Pathfinder project team will embark on the Work Package 2.

We’ll update you with further developments as the project progresses in its aim of helping to increase the uptake of Property Flood Resilience measures across Yorkshire.

Want to know more?

For more information about the Yorkshire PFR Pathfinder Project, contact Project Manager Shelley Evans or follow the Yorkshire Future Flood Resilience Project Twitter page @YorkshirePFR

You can also find more information about property flood resilience on our Flood Resilience webpages.


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