flood risk

Government updates planning guidance to ensure better flood protections for new homes

The government has updated its planning guidance to ensure new homes will be protected from flooding.

The changes aim to help councils ensure developments meet strict criteria in locations at risk of flooding before they are approved. 

Under the new planning practice guidance developments, councils will be better placed to apply government policy, where new homes in areas at risk of flooding should meet recommended standards on flood resilience.

Local areas will also have access to better guidance on how to control surface water run-off with the use of sustainable drainage systems to enhance the quantity and quality of water in the region, as well as local biodiversity.

The new planning guidance forms part of the government’s plan to level up and regenerate communities by delivering sustainable and lasting homes.

Levelling up secretary Greg Clark said: “This new guidance will strengthen councils’ ability to require better flood resilience in new developments.

“Councils will need to demonstrate that the development will be safe from flooding for its lifetime, will not increase flood risk elsewhere, and where possible will reduce flood risk overall.

“This will help make sure our homes and neighbourhoods are built to last for generations to come.”

Floods minister Steve Double, added: “As climate change makes extreme weather events, such as flooding, more likely, we must do all we can to make sure that people’s homes and businesses are kept safe.

“This guidance will help ensure new developments are designed with flood resilience in mind and do not increase flood risk elsewhere.”

Caroline Douglass, executive director of flood and coastal risk management at the Environment Agency, stated: “It’s vital that we plan for a changing climate by avoiding unsafe new development in flood and coastal risk areas.

“The Environment Agency plays an important role in working with planning authorities to ensure new development is both safe and sustainable.

“The new guidance provides vital advice to planners and developers to encourage the use of more sustainable drainage systems to reduce surface water flood risk, as well as how to plan and adapt to coastal change.”

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