Flood Risk Assessments and Why You Might Need One

  • Added:
    Feb 14, 2013
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Flooded basement
Flooded basement
Photo by carlpenergy

Flooding is an increasing problem in the UK as demand for new housing increases and developers look to build on areas of land that might previously have been considered unsuitable. This is a particular issue in areas like Lincolnshire where building design may well take place in low lying areas and on former agricultural land. Flood risk is therefore something that you need to consider seriously when planning a new development or an extension to an existing home or business property. The Environment Agency issues advice to local authorities on when flooding may pose a risk to any proposed developments in their area.

Mapping out the Flood-line

On the Environment Agency’s website you can view maps showing the areas that are most at risk of flooding which will help you see if you’re likely to be affected. Even so it’s important to discuss potential development with the planning department of your local council to ensure that the possibility of flooding is taken into account at an early stage. A flood risk assessment is required as part of the planning application process if your site falls within zones 2 or 3 on the map. You’ll also need one if the development is more than one hectare in size regardless of its location.

Whilst an initial assessment can be made on the basis of the Environment Agency map a detailed analysis will need to look at the particular risks posed to the site. It should also take account of how the development will change the flood risk to the surrounding area by adding to the amount of surface water run-off, the load on the sewer system and so on. As well as being part of the planning process the assessment can also be used to plan the drainage requirements for the site in order to minimise the potential flood risk.

Assess the situation

A firm of local architects can help you by carrying out an assessment as part of the process of applying for planning permission. Local knowledge is an essential factor here as they’ll be able to take account of any special factors in the area. By taking account of this at an early stage you can minimise the chances of complications arising later on. Having a flood risk assessment carried out can help reduce your insurance premiums too by giving a clear indication of whether the property is liable to flood. A risk of flooding doesn’t necessarily mean that your planning application will be turned down but you will need to show that the development has been planned in order to manage the effects in a safe and sustainable way.

Jon Mathews is a frequent contributor for Building by Design and has written many articles pertaining to all things regarding architects, building by design, and planning, especially on such subjects as providing architectural design & consultants services for the residential market. For more details visit http://planmyhouse.co.uk/

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Jon Mathews is a frequent contributor for Building by Design and has written many articles pertaining to all things regarding architects, building by design, and planning, especially on such subjects as providing architectural design & consultants services for the residential market.


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