A NEW plan to prevent any repeat of the flooding that hit parts of East Lancashire in 2012 has been published by Lancashire County Council.

Bacup and Rawtenstall were hardest hit as heavy rain caused chaos across the country.

Now the county and Blackpool council have produced a joint strategy to combat the threat in future, which could lead to residents and businesses in high risk areas being asked to contribute to the cost of flood defences.

It dovetails with a separate ‘Flood Watch’ scheme for Blackburn with Darwen paid for by a government grant after the borough was also hit by the storms.

Darwen was flooded three times in 2012. Blackpool joined in the Lancashire plan because of the need to co-ordinate sea defences along Lancashire’s Western coast with the Irish Sea.

The draft plan reveals that the highest local flood risks are in the urban areas of Accrington, Bacup, Blackpool, Burnley, Colne, Chorley, Clitheroe, Lancaster, Ormskirk, Preston and Skelmersdale.

It is now out to consultation with residents for their views.

A series of meetings includes session at Burnley Library on Monday January 13 from 11am to 7pm; Bacup Library on Monday January 20 from 11am to 7pm; and County Hall, Preston on Wednesday January 22 from 11am to 7pm.

The Lancashire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy aims to ensure communities at high risk are better-equipped to protect themselves and their properties when floods occur.

County council public protection boss Janice Hanson said: "One of the lessons learned following the major floods of recent years was that management of risk can only be improved if organisations and individuals share responsibility and coordinate their activities.

"Lancashire has a diverse geography, from coastal communities to those in steep-sided valleys, which means the level of risk and methods needed to manage flooding vary considerably.

"This plan explains how we will work with partners to better understand what causes flooding so we can take action to manage the risk in future.”