Floating holiday lodge plans sunk by flood risk

Eight holiday lodges on a farm on the edge of a Norfolk village were rejected when an appellant failed to convince the inspector that their floating design made them safe in a high risk flood area.

The site lay close to a river in flood zone three, categorised as having a high probability of flooding. The appellant’s flood risk assessment demonstrated that the engineering of the proposed lodges, akin to houseboats designed to rise and float, meant the lodges would be safe in times of flood. Accepting the lodges themselves would be safe, the inspector was not fully convinced that the visitors to the lodges would be. He highlighted the difference from a marina or houseboats where residents would be well aware of flood risk and what they were required to do in the event of a warning. He had concern that temporary visitors to the lodges would not have the same awareness despite information proposed to be provided at an entrance lodge.

Acknowledging that the flood risk had been mitigated to an extent in the proposals by the design and seasonal nature of the lodges, the inspector nevertheless concluded a risk still remained and with national policy steering unnecessary development away from high risk flood zones, he decided to refuse permission for the inappropriate development and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Jonathan Hockley; Written representations

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