Flood Risk Assessments
Flooding is becoming more and more common in the UK and globally. In many cases this is simply due to the fact we are building more homes and businesses but there are larger environmental factors at play too. It is now more important than ever to get a robust and high-quality report done when planning any new property development or when buying a new home. This goes for domestic as well as commercial projects and purchases.
Reasons for getting an FRA or another form of report we offer include:
• Planning Applications under NPPF, SPP, TAN 15 and PPS-15
• Specifically, for renewable energy and energy generation sites
• For insurance purposes
• To support land or property purchases
As a planning applicant, you may need to carry out a flood risk assessment for your proposed development site.
You need to do a flood risk assessment for most developments within one of the flood zones.
This includes developments:
• in flood zone 2 or 3 including minor development and change of use
• more than 1 hectare (ha) in flood zone 1
• less than 1 ha in flood zone 1, including a change of use in development type to a more vulnerable class (for example from commercial to residential), where they could be affected by sources of flooding other than rivers and the sea (for example surface water drains, reservoirs)
• in an area within flood zone 1 which has critical drainage problems as notified by the Environment Agency
You should follow the Environment Agency’s standing advice if you’re carrying out a flood risk assessment of a development classed as:
• a minor extension (household extensions or non-domestic extensions less than 250 square metres) in flood zone 2 or 3
• ‘more vulnerable’ in flood zone 2 (except for landfill or waste facility sites, caravan or camping sites)
• ‘less vulnerable’ in flood zone 2 (except for agriculture and forestry, waste treatment, mineral processing, and water and sewage treatment)
• ‘water compatible’ in flood zone 2
You also need to follow standing advice for developments involving a change of use into one of these vulnerable categories or into the water compatible category.
Flood Defence Design
Flood defences are used to prevent or control the potential negative effects of flood waters. Traditional methods of flood defence, such as the planting of vegetation to retain water and constructing channels (floodways), have been used throughout history. More modern flood defences can include:
• Diversion canals.
• Floodplains and groundwater replenishment.
• River defences, e.g. levees, bunds, reservoirs, weirs, and so on.
• Coastal defences, e.g. groynes, sea walls, revetments, gabions, and so on.
• Retention ponds.
• Moveable gates and barriers.
Temporary flood defences are systems that can be brought to specific problem sites to provide flood defence as required. They can then be removed until needed again, either at the same or a different location. They have no fixed foundation other than the ground on which they are based with perhaps minor pre-prepared modifications to ensure proper stability or performance of the equipment.
They might include:
• Metal or plastic barriers.
• Water or sand filled containers or bags.
Our flood risk survey will allow you know your flood risk and make it easy for you to know how much it will cost to protect the property in a single report. We will conduct a site visit to provide you with practical insight, so you can make the decision on whether to purchase a property that is at risk of flooding. Our flood risk survey will provide sufficient information when buying or selling a property, as you will receive advice on flood risk identification alongside expert guidance on how to protect the property from flooding. Whether you require a flood risk assessment, flood risk report or flood mitigation survey, our experts help you make the right decision with your property.
This should take account of:
• the nature of flood risk;
• the spatial distribution of flood risk;
• climate change impacts; and
• the degree of vulnerability of different types of development.