Broadland Futures Initiative

The Broadland Futures Initiative (BFI) is a partnership for future flood risk management in the Broadland area.

Our main goal is to agree a framework for future flood risk management that better copes with our changing climate and rising sea level. The focus will be on what happens from the mid-2020s onwards, however we need to start planning now to secure support and make well-informed decisions.

Flooding in Potter Heigham by Kevin Appleton

Learn more about the BFI

Click the sections below to expand them and learn more about the work of the Broadland Futures Initiative.

What area are we interested in?

The Broadland landscape is a rich mosaic of wetland habitats, farmland, winding waterways, towns, villages and historic features, coastal beaches, dunes and low sandy cliffs. At its heart is the Broads National Park. The rivers flowing into and through this area drain around two thirds of Norfolk and much of north east Suffolk. Due to the low-lying nature of the area, these rivers are also significantly influenced by the tides.

This area abuts with the sea in many ways. From cliffs on the North Norfolk coast, adjoining low level land protected by a sea wall, to the urban areas of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft and neighbouring settlements. With changing sea levels all of these parts of the coast can be vulnerable to impacts from the sea in the same way that intense rainfall may rush down the river valleys to the coastal towns.

Landscape has been influenced and shaped over thousands of years by natural processes and by the way people have lived and worked. Rising sea levels and a changing climate make the area increasingly vulnerable to the risks of flooding and erosion, with the local environment and economy increasingly reliant on flood defences.

The partnership - who's involved?

The Initiative has been set up by organisations responsible for managing coastal and inland flood risk. The Environment Agency have the lead responsibility and will be working with Natural England, County Councils, Internal Drainage Boards, Broads Authority and National Farmers Union. The Broads Authority will support the Initiative Project Team and governance arrangements.

The BFI will also work in partnership with local communities and other stakeholders to identify the way forward. This will be a democratic process, with local politicians making the core decisions in order to agree a framework for future flood risk management that better copes with our changing climate.

The decisions made must be acceptable for our local communities, for the environment, and also be technically possible and affordable. The cost of future flood risk management will require local as well as government funds, and we will also need to identify where the money will come from.

What work has been done to date?

A review of current flood management policy for this area was carried out in 2016. The review used existing information including projections for changes in the environment, technology and funding. It also identified areas where more evidence is needed. These now need to be shared with a wider group of stakeholders alongside establishing a governance structure to support the review of flood risk management in the area.

BFI Plan objectives

Here you can view our agreed objectives for the BFI strategy. The document helps you to learn more about what these important objectives mean for the future development of the strategy and how they shape our collective mission to improve the resilience of people, places and the environment to flooding, as we adapt to the changing climate.

Study reports and interactive story maps

Study reports will inform the wider BFI strategy. Please find the current reports below:

Please feel free to explore our interactive story maps below, with multimedia content combining maps, narrative text, and images to explore both the impact of flood risk management and future climate change within the plan area.

Digital newsletter

Through our recent survey we found that the most preferred method of keeping you all informed is via email and through our web page. Here we will host our newsletter and other content as we progress. We will make announcements on forthcoming public events and share details on how best to get involved.

Please click the links in the sidebar to access previous editions of the Broadland Futures Initiative Newsletter.

Please email us if you wish to join the Broadland Futures Initiative mailing list.

Initiative Project Team Meeting Minutes

Please click the links in the side bar to access minutes of our Initiative Project Team Meetings.

If you have any further queries please get in touch via the contact details shown at the bottom of this page.

Elected Members Forum

The role of the Elected Members Forum (EMF) is to provide a strategic steer, receive advice and recommendations, review progress and reach agreements based on financial, environmental and technical evidence presented by the Initiative Project Team.

The EMF will take back conclusions and seek formal endorsement from our Local Authorities, before final adoption by our Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC). The EMF will comprise one appointed representative from each Local Authority within the Initiative study area with an interest in flood and coastal risk management. The Broads Authority is also represented by one of their appointed councillors. It is envisaged that the EMF will elect its own chair and will be serviced by the Broads Authority for secretariat purposes.

Please click the links in the side bar to access minutes of our Elected Members Forum.

Minutes of public meetings

Download minutes of our public meetings below:

Other useful links

Find useful links below:

Contact the Broadland Futures Initiative Team

Before contacting us, please feel free to read our Frequently Asked Questions document where you may find the answer you are looking for.

If you wish to be kept informed about the project or still have any questions you can get in touch with the Broadland Futures Initiative using the contact details below.

Broadland Futures Initiative
c/o Broads Authority,
Yare House,
62-64 Thorpe Road,
Norwich, Norfolk