Use the drop-downs to find out more about Flood Risk Assessments.

What are Flood Risk Assessments? 

As you might expect, Flood Risk Assessments assess the flood risk associated with a development. Where relevant, they also include mitigation measures to reduce or remove the flood risk. That might include, for example, raising floor levels or putting less vulnerable uses (like car parking) on the ground floor.

Where flood risk is low, the Flood Risk Assessment is likely to be fairly basic and straightforward. Where the risk is high, the Flood Risk Assessment must be exceptionally thorough. 

Flood Risk Assessments are often abbreviated to “FRAs”.

What Flood Risk Assessments do Planning Direct offer?

Planning Direct offers entry-level Flood Risk Assessments for the following types of development:

  • Most developments in flood zone 1 (if a Flood Risk Assessment is required at all – find the answer to “when is a Flood Risk Assessment required?” below)
  • Development in flood zones 2 and 3 where there is no intensification in use
  • Changes of use in flood zones 2 and 3 where the new use is not more vulnerable to flooding* than the existing use.

*Information on more and less vulnerable uses can be found further down this page.

If you require a more detailed Flood Risk Assessment or a Flood Risk Assessment for a development not listed above, we can commission this for you. 

You can find out more about our commissions using the button below.

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When is a Flood Risk Assessment required?

Flood Zones 2 and 3

Flood Risk Assessments are required for all development in flood zones 2 and 3, no matter how minor*. 

*where a planning application is submitted. Certain developments don’t require a planning application to be made. These are known as permitted developments and you can find out more about them using the button below.

Flood Zone 1

In flood zone 1, Flood Risk Assessments are required if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • The site area is 1 ha or more
  • The site is subject to critical drainage problems, as identified by the Environment Agency
  • The site is identified in a strategic Flood Risk Assessment* to be at increased flood risk in future
  • The site may be subject to other sources of flooding and the development would introduce a more vulnerable use. 

*This is a Flood Risk Assessment conducted by your local council as part of their Local Plan preparation.

How do I find out what flood zone my site is in?

The government provides a flood map that you can access for free using the button below.

Simply enter your postcode (or map reference) and you’ll be shown a map of the local area with all flood zones identified. There’s also an option to download a PDF report that shows the map and clearly identifies the flood zone of your site. This report will usually tell you when a Flood Risk Assessment is required for development on the site. 

You should be aware that the flood zone of a site is not the only matter that dictates whether a Flood Risk Assessment is required. You may also need to do some research on critical drainage problems, other local flood sources and strategic Flood Risk Assessments. If you instruct Planning Direct to assist with your planning application, planning appeal or Flood Risk Assessment, we’ll conduct this research on your behalf.

What are the different flood zones and what do they mean?

The flood zones range from 1 to 3, although flood zone 3 is divided into sub-categories 3a and 3b.

What uses are vulnerable to flooding?

The Environment Agency has separated most uses and developments you could think of into different flood vulnerability classes. These are:

The table below identifies the flood vulnerability classes of some of the most common types of development. If your development doesn’t appear on the list, contact us today for some free advice.

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