What is a flood risk assessment and why are they needed?

Hello, today I’m going to talk about Flood Risk Assessments, what they are and why they are needed.

If you’re planning a new development you may need to do a flood risk assessment as part of your planning application.
If your development site is greater than 1 hectare or in a sensitive location, you must submit a Flood Risk Assessment as part of your planning process.

But how do you know where the flood zones are and what you need to submit? At Earth Environmental we can support you planning process and give you quality advice.

The scope and details of the Flood Risk Assessments will vary depending on the size and topography of the site, and which Flood Zone the site lies within

What is a Flood Risk Assessment?

A Flood Risk Assessment, also known as a FRA, is a report that details the main flood risks to a development site. It can also provide recommendations for mitigating measures to alleviate the impact of flooding to the site and surrounding area.

It’s a good idea for developers to have a detailed understanding of the potential flood risks, not only to determine if a new development is sustainable in relation to flood risk, but also to understand the impact your development may have on the environment and increase to flood risk.

It’s also a very good idea to do this as early as possible to reduce the risk of subsequent, significant additional costs being incurred.

What’s the aim of a Flood Risk Assessment?

The flood risk assessment will find out
If your proposed development is likely to be affected by current or future flooding
If your development will increase the risk of flood elsewhere
If the measures proposed to deal with these effects and risks are appropriate
Plus the following information may also be highlighted
The evidence for the local planning authority to apply (if necessary) the Sequential Test, and;
whether the development will be safe and pass the Exception Test, if applicable
Slide – What are the Flood Zones?
1 in 6 properties in England are at risk of flooding from rivers, sea and surface water, with many others susceptible to various sources of flooding.
The flood zones for sites are obtained from the Environment Agency and Local Authority Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.
The areas are defined as Flood Zone 1 to Flood Zone 3,
If your development is within Flood Zone 2, 3a, or 3b you will need a detailed Flood Risk Assessment
As we all know the risk of flooding is increasing and the number of properties and areas at risk of flooding is increasing also.
If you are in a risk area you will need to prove as part of your planning application that your development, whether it’s an extension or a large-scale development will not increase the risk of flood.
If you submit a planning application without the relevant Flood Risk Assessment your development may be delayed or at worst rejected and the appeal process may cost more money.

It is advisable to check whether your development will require a Flood Risk Assessment so contact Earth Environmental where our team of specialists can help.