Potential common law liability for privately provided flood defences

WYNN, P., 2004. Potential common law liability for privately provided flood defences. Structural Survey, 22 (2), pp. 110-113. ISSN 0263-080X

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Abstract

Public bodies have no statutory duty to provide flood defences and do not have funds available to meet all requests for them. This had led to recognition that flood prevention is not something to be left to others and there is now encouragement to householders to undertake “do it yourself” flood defence. Such measures are not without risk of damage to other properties. An investigation has therefore been undertaken to establish whether there is associated legal liability should such damage occur. No cases have been published directly concerning liability for damage resulting from these activities. However the Doctrine of Precedent declares that cases must be decided the same way when their material facts are the same. Cases are identified which have relevant similar material facts, although not arising from modern “do it yourself” flood defence. The ratio decidendi of cases concerning the receipt and passage of naturally flowing water, the increased passage of water to the property of others, and the overtopping or failure of structures that have held back water is examined. These cases are then discussed in the context of home flood defence. It is concluded that protecting one’s property from flooding is legally a relatively safe activity.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Structural Survey
Creators: Wynn, P.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2004
Volume: 22
Number: 2
ISSN: 0263-080X
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1108/02630800410538640DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:44
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2016 09:11
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17541

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