Flooding—flood risk and development
Produced in partnership with Argyll Environmental Ltd and Burges Salmon
Flooding—flood risk and development

The following Environment practice note Produced in partnership with Argyll Environmental Ltd and Burges Salmon provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Flooding—flood risk and development
  • Brexit impact
  • Introduction to flood risk
  • History of planning policy on flood risk
  • Current planning policy
  • What is 'flood risk'?
  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment
  • Site-specific flood risk assessments
  • Exclusions
  • The sequential and exception tests
  • More...

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.

For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

Introduction to flood risk

The UK has a legacy of development within areas at risk of flooding from river, surface and groundwater flooding. Continued development of rural and low lying areas has led to about six million properties at risk of flooding.

Flood risk assessment is imperative in the context of property, legal and financial markets becoming increasingly sensitive to flood risk and the escalating cost of flood damage. Since flood risk management has become an important part of all new developments and property conveyancing, a range of products and assessments now exist in the market place providing varying scope and detail—see Practice Notes: Flood insurance and Flooding—flood searches.

History of planning policy on flood risk

Planning Policy Guidance 25: Development and Flood Risk (PPG 25) in 2001 (no longer in force) was the first notable statutory guidance on development and flood risk. The guidance aimed to:

  1. ensure flood risk is suitably taken into account in all stages of the planning

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