The National Planning Policy Framework: Our ‘What Should I Do?’ Guide
The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published 24 July 2018. In terms of flood risk and development sites, what does this mean? Our quick-reference ‘what should I do?’ guide below highlights how to make sure you present a robust assessment of flood risk for your development and the tools to satisfy the new planning policy.
What should I do?
- For development sites in the pre-planning stage, step 1 is to check the site postcode (get the post code here ) in the long term flood risk map, as well as the usual flood map for planning and contact Inspire for advice. The new NPPF emphasises the requirement to consider flood risk from all sources, including river (fluvial), groundwater, surface water, reservoir and drainage infrastructure. A site being located in Flood Zone 1 for river flooding does not mean that it is flood-risk free.
- Contact the EA to obtain flood risk information in a Product 4 or Product 8, alternatively Inspire can liaise with the EA on your behalf. A strengthening of the wording for the requirement to consider the resilience of your site to climate change effects as part of the sequential test to areas ‘known to be at risk now or in the future from any form of flooding’, could mean that sites shown to be mapped in Flood Zone 1, but within the modelled 1% AEP plus climate change estimate extents (not shown on online mapping but available from the EA) could come up against planning issues.
- Natural Flood Management (NFM) has been included as an add-on to the sequential test to highlight that opportunities provided by new development to manage residual risk with NFM techniques. Our Flood Risk Expert Laura Birkin was part of the Flood Expo 2017 expert panel discussion on NFM and can quickly assess a sites’ potential for requiring NFM.
- Consider SuDS as early in the master planning or design process as possible to ensure that the new requirements of the NPPF to take advice from the LLFA, consider maintenance and provide multifunctional benefits can be met with as little impact on the development layout as possible. Consulting Inspire on SuDS early can not only mean a more straightforward planning process, but can also mean a lower-cost drainage design solution overall.
- Consider the requirement for emergency and evacuation plans, which now forms part of the NPPF requirement. This can be included in a Flood Risk Assessment from the outset to avoid delays to the planning process. Not sure if your site will need one? we can help.
You can subscribe here to receive updates from .gov.uk when changes to the NPPF are reflected in the online ‘Flood risk and coastal change’ Planning practice guidance.
Should you require further advice or explanation please give one of our experts a call.