Property Flood Resilience Recovery Support Scheme (2023)
Please note that the cut off date for applying for this scheme was 20 January 2024.
What is PFR?
Property Flood Resilience (PFR) refers to any measures that can be applied to a building to make people and the property less vulnerable to the physical impacts of flooding.
PFR brings together a range of measures that help people become more resilient to the impacts of flooding and reduce the length of time needed for recovery. While it is not always possible to completely keep out flood water, greater individual flood resilience should reduce the cost of managing future incidents because the approach will reduce the time that people are out of a property.
PFR measures can fall into the following categories:
- PFR recovery measures include the use of materials, products and construction methods that mean a building can be quickly brought back into use after flooding: i.e. managing the level and consequences of damage when water enters the property
- PFR resistance measures include the use of materials and approaches to attempt to safely keep water out of the property
The level of detail required as part of your application will depend on the types of measures you are intending on installing. More information on this can be found below.
The owners of the following premises are eligible for the scheme:
- Properties that flooded internally as a result of Storm Babet between 19 and 25 October 2023. Flooding must have been caused by heavy rainfall, a river overflowing or by groundwater. Flooding from a public sewer capacity issue or water main burst is not covered by this scheme
- Residential properties (including accommodation such as static caravans) where this is the primary residence and where habitable internal areas of the premise have been damaged by flooding
- Business (including social enterprise) and charitable organisation properties where internal areas of the premise which are critical to the day to day operations (i.e. not storage sheds or warehouses) have been damaged
- Holiday lets that are operated as a business and where non-domestic rates are paid
- Bed and breakfast properties where:
- the owner lives on site and said property is their principal residence and;
- they may pay both domestic and non-domestic rates
- The grant is only available to people where the habitable living or business areas* of their properties have been damaged by entry of floodwater, necessitating drying out and/or repairs to the fabric of the building
- HMOs and blocks of flats are considered “one front door” except where council tax is charged separately on each flat or HMO residence where each council taxpayer will be eligible
The following properties are not eligible for the scheme:
- Garages, outhouses, and storage areas are not eligible for the scheme
- Second homes are not eligible
- Empty homes are not eligible
- Basements or cellars not used as habitable areas are not eligible
- Properties that have received a recovery grant (from the recovery schemes put in place after the 2013/14, 2015/16 2020/21 events are not eligible except where an independent PFR survey states that extra resilience measures should be installed over and above what was previously installed. The survey will need to be carried out at your own risk by a suitably qualified professional and the cost (up to a value of £500) redeemed as part of a successful grant application. Applications for these properties will be considered on a case-by-case basis
* Habitable areas of a property include areas like living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms and ground flood bedrooms.
PFR grant and your insurance policy
Home insurance policies generally put properties back to the state they were in prior to flooding. This should mean that if you have previously adapted your property, you should be able to secure repairs to any sacrificial or recoverable elements from your home insurer.
Many insurers are now also offering ‘Build Back Better’ (BBB) payments. This means that households can claim an additional amount as part of their flood claim, which will fund measures which will improve the flood resilience of the property. This can include carrying out surveys to understand the flood risk and potential mitigation, the addition of flood resistance measures such as flood doors, and flood resilience measures such as the replacement of damaged parts of the home with more flood resilient materials such as hard floors. People who have BBB as part of their insurance claim can apply to have a PFR grant but it is recommended that customers engage with their insurers in the first instance where they are eligible for BBB.
The grant must not be used for costs that should be covered by insurance or product guarantees, such as repair of previously installed resilience measures or the costs of drying out properties. More advice on property resilience can be found here.
The application process
The step-by-step process below must be followed to provide property and business owners with the grant funding. Further detailed information will be provided to applicants at each step of the process:
Step 1: Application
The application window for both domestic and business properties closed on 20 January 2024.
Step 2: Survey
In order to access the grant, a property survey is required to identify where the flooding came from, and the best PFR measures to limit the impacts of future flood events.
If you are intending on installing recoverability measures only, you will be required to submit a Property Owner Recoverability Survey. This document requests more details on the impacts of flooding on the property and askes you to list the proposed recoverability interventions you wish to fund.
If you are proposing to install any resistance measures which prevent water from entering the property, you will be required to commission an independent PFR survey to be carried out by a suitably qualified independent surveyor. Information on PFR property surveys can be found on the Blue Pages. Where resistance measures are proposed, your surveyor will also need to undertake an independent post-installation survey which must also be funded through your grant allocation.
In line with the guidelines published by DEFRA. the cost of the survey can be claimed as part of the grant up to a value of £500 inclusive of VAT. Please be aware that if you undertake a property survey and do not chose to go ahead with the PFR grant, you will be responsible for any associated costs.
Please make sure that any PFR surveys which recommend external alterations to the property take into account any requirements for planning permission. You will be responsible for covering any costs associated with any planning application and these costs cannot be include in the £5000 grant application. Consideration of any impacts of listed building status or conservation areas take heritage into consideration when recommending suitable PFR.
The company undertaking the survey cannot be the same company that installs your PFR measures.
Step 3: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
A copy of the survey, or details of the proposed recoverability measures, must be provided to us and we will assess the suitability proposed works.
Once the survey has been approved, you will then be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with us before you can proceed. The MOU will set out what PFR measures you will be installing and by signing it you will agree to the conditions of the grant funding and to maintain your PFR.
Step 4: Quotes
Where possible, you should obtain three quotes for any proposed works and submit these to us for approval. Where this is not possible, you should endeavour to demonstrate that the proposed measures represent best value for money. This could be done by comparing the costs against the indicative PFR costs document.
If you wish to have PFR works carried out by your insurance company’s provider, please let us know as early as possible and we can assess whether the quote provided is competitive.
Step 4a: Heritage and planning permission
For alterations to the exterior of a building, planning permission or listed building consent may be required before you are able to go ahead with PFR works. Please ensure that this is secured prior to any works taking place.
Step 5: Works
Once the quotations have been approved by us, you can then instruct PFR works to commence. We will usually release full the grant payment upon satisfactory completion of works, however in some cases, partial payments may be agreed to cover initial costs.
Please keep all receipts for works undertaken as you will be required to submit these to us prior to payment being released. Please be aware that any planned works over the value of £5000 will need to be funded by yourselves.
Step 6: Quality assessment
Once works are competed, you will need to demonstrate to us that work has been carried out to the appropriate standards. These will vary depending on the type of PFR you install.
For resilience measures, images of the works taking place and of the completed measures installed will be required, along with receipts for the work.
For resistance measures, an independent post-installation survey undertaken by the same surveyor who undertook the initial Property Owner Recoverability Survey will be required to confirm that the measures have been installed in line with the manufacturer’s specifications will be required along with receipts for the work.
Failure to provide this information may result in your claim not being approved by us.
Step 7: Payment
Once works have passed the quality assessment, we will pay the amount of your original quote up to £5000 (inc. VAT) to the bank account provided as part of the MOU.
It is appreciated that in some cases works to repair a property may have already begun and that you may have commissioned recoverability and resistance measures as part of this process.
In these cases we may still process retrospective claims, however evidence will be required that these features have been installed in response to flooding associated with Storm Babet, that the features you are claiming for will protect the property, that the works represent best value for money and that the features have been installed correctly.
To register for a retrospective application, please make this clear on your application form. We will then contact you and discuss the level of detail required. Please ensure that you keep all quotations and invoices associated with any works that have already taken place.
In some cases (such as terraced properties), it will be more effective to pool resources to collaborate with neighbours to achieve a better standard of flood risk reduction than would be the case by treating each property individually. A more effective flood solution may also include barriers for a street as a whole, where middle properties would have no direct PFR installed, but end properties would.
Collaborative applications between adjacent eligible properties can be submitted, and can include community PFR measures. These will be assessed on a case by case basis and the total value of the grant will be based on the number of properties applying. If you are considering a collaborative application, please make us aware of this as soon as possible.
PRF companies and guidance
Further property flood resilience information can be found via the following websites. Please note that Shropshire Council is not responsible for the content of these sites:
- The National Flood Forum are a charity offering advice and support to communities affected by flooding. They have a wealth of experience to assist property owners recover from flooding and can provide advice on suitable PFR measures
- The Blue Pages is an independent flood directory that lists a range of products and services that support delivery of PFR
- The Flood Guidance website was originally set up as a part of a private sector initiative to provide a free and impartial source of flood guidance information. The website incorporates guidance and advice from sources including insurers, government and other industry sectors
- The Flood Hub, funded by the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, has been designed to be a one stop shop for flood information and resources to support householders, businesses and communities across the North West in becoming more flood resilient
- The Six Steps to Flood Resilience, published by Manchester Metropolitan University’s ‘Smartest Project’, provides a step-by-step guide to the purchase, installation and use of property-level technologies. This includes advice for the initial surveying of properties, help to identify measures that are most appropriate for your individual circumstances, and information regarding the long-term maintenance and operation of protective devices