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With the increasing pressure on land to supply new housing, the increasing intensity of climate change and following a number of major UK flooding events, risks from flooding to developments have become a significant issue, resulting in the production of ‘Planning Policy Guidance Note 25: Development and Flood Risk (PPG25)’ in July 2001 and later superceeded by the ‘Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25) in December 2006.These documents outline how flood risk should be considered at all stages of the planning and development process in order to help reduce future damage to property and loss of life.

This legislation resulted in the statutory consultation of the Environment Agency over planning applications where flooding was identified to be a potential issue. This is not just in coastal locations, but also in areas of low lying land in the vicinity of streams and rivers, and land where groundwater levels are close to the surface and flooding occurs after heavy rain.

In circumstances where the Environment Agency considers that there is a risk of flooding they may require a Flood Risk Assessment to accompany a planning application.

A Flood Risk Assessment takes into account the risk and impact of flooding on a site as well as how the development may affect flooding in the local area and provides recommendations as to how the risk of flooding associated to the site can be improved.

Each assessment undertaken is specific to each individual site and can range from the most basic level of report (Level 1 PPS25) through to a detailed flood risk report including mitigation works (Level 2 PPS25)

When preparing flood risk assessments, the following issues are considered initially;

If these preliminary investigations identify no potential risk of flooding or impact on existing drainage mechanisms, the resulting report will normally satisfy planning requirements. In cases where the potential risk of flooding is identified, further assessment would be recommended to identify the following;

Our FRA team have extensive experience of undertaking strategic and site-specific FRA’s throughout the UK and are able to offer the Client best-practice and cost-effective FRA services to suit the needs of any proposed development.

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