By Roy Lobley, 

Flood Zones provided by the Environment Agency show areas that would flood if defences weren’t there and are fundamental to flood risk policy.

Developments in the high and medium flood risk zones require the application of a sequential test to show that there are no other less risky sites available and identifying the sustainable benefits building in these zones would bring.

Once the policy aims have been agreed and construction is being planned, making those developments safe from flooding whilst not increasing the risk of flooding to others, is the next hurdle.

Flood Risk Assessments will provide the evidence base for planners to be confident that your proposals can sufficiently mitigate for any flood risk.

Developments creating large areas of hard surfaces will increase the speed at which rainwater runs off and can overload drainage systems unless properly controlled.

Sustainable drainage systems are not new, but the creation of Lead Local Flood Authorities has increased the prominence of SuDs and some form of drainage strategy will be required at the planning stage.

Once you have paid for a site that has never flooded in the lifetime of the vendor, only to find that it is in the high-risk flood zone and is contra to policy, or a breach in the raised defences would result in significant flooding on your site, or you need a large portion of the developable area as a water storage pond, then making a return on your investment is probably unlikely.

So, don’t leave the consideration of flood risk until it’s too late.

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