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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. However, 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 DOES PLANNING DIRECT OFFER?

Planning Direct offers entry-level flood risk assessments for the following types of development:

  • Most developments in flood zone 1*
  • 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.

*If a flood risk assessments is required at all. You can find the answer to “when is a flood risk assessments required?” further down this page.

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

Are you in need of an affordable, entry-level flood risk assessment? Then contact us today using the button below. Our initial advice is always free of charge.

If you require a more detailed flood risk assessment or a flood risk assessment for a development not listed above – including development affected by surface water flooding – we can commission this for you. 

Click the button below to find out more about our commissions.

WHEN IS A FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENT REQUIRED?

Flood zones 2 & 3

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

*but only if a planning application is required. Certain developments don’t actually require a planning application to be submitted. 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 handy flood map and you can access it 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. In addition, this report will usually tell you when a Flood Risk Assessment is required for development on your site. 

However, 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.

Flood zoneWhat does it mean?
Flood zone 1Low probability of flooding
Flood zone 2Medium probability of flooding
Flood zone 3aHigh probability of flooding
Flood zone 3bFunctional floodplain – this is land where water
must be able to flow or be stored during a flood event

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:

Flood vulnerability classWhat does it mean?
Essential infrastructureDevelopment that must be located in flood risk areas, often because its purpose is to control or reduce flood risk
Highly vulnerableDevelopment that is most vulnerable to flooding, often because it has limited resilience to flooding or limited opportunities for evacuation and people live there
More vulnerableDevelopment that is still very vulnerable to flooding, often because it is used by people or would need to remain in use during a flood
Less vulnerableDevelopment where the risk of flooding is of limited concern
Water-compatibleDevelopment that is water based or likely to withstand a flood without issue

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, however, contact us today for some free advice.

Flood vulnerability classCommon types of development
Highly vulnerableBasement dwellings, caravans, mobile homes and park homes that are occupied permanently
More vulnerableOther dwellings, hospitals, care homes, pubs, health services, places of education, holiday lets, short-let camping and caravan sites, landfill sites
Less vulnerableCommercial sites (including shops, cafes, offices and restaurants), leisure sites, industrial sites, agricultural sites

If you require assistance with a flood risk assessment, please get in touch.

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