With the changing climatic conditions and ecological and man made changes to our environment we are experiencing unpredictable occurrences of flood. If you compare the influence of the seasons in the past and compare them to the present then you will note a significant difference and in some cases an increase in severe changes in weather. In the UK looking at the past climatic conditions, it is estimated that in future years the amount of rainfall is going to increase. Heavy rain, combined with the increase in development, and importantly it’s density is leading to an increased occurrence of flooding.
In order to mitigate this risk, both in terms of protection of any newly constructed properties from flood and also to ensure new development does not exacerbate flooding due to water run off etc then preparation of a flood risk assessment becomes a necessary element for each development site.
It is important to understand the risk of flooding prior to any development commencing. A flood risk assessment (or FRA) will provide vital information on location of the properties, their floor heights and details such as means of safe escape. In order to commence any FRA it’s important to firstly establish the risk involved and this looks primarily at the location of the site against existing mapping data. Once this is established then it’s possible to commence preparation of a FRA or flood risk assessment.
General information is relatively easy to obtain in respect of the initial assessment of Flood Risk. However it is vital to ensure this information is correct as it becomes very important when establishing the ability to develop on certain sites. General reference information doesn’t always accurately reflect site circumstances and is often modelled on old data or information. A comprehensive Flood risk assessment is vital to examine the detailed site-based circumstances. An FRA is essential for the planning process when sites are located in zones 1, 2 or 3 as it is considered as a primary ingredient of the planning function to control location of development.
For future development FRA is important. Before agreeing the scale of FRA, it usual to discuss specific site issues by seeking advice from the Environment agency or local planning authority. Susceptible uses of development such as housing should not only be situated in order for them not to flood, but also have a protected dry means of excape, less susceptible developments must have safe relocation strategy.
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