Barn conversion flood information ruled insufficient

A dwelling from an agricultural building under a Class Q prior approval in the Somerset countryside was refused for flooding concerns for the future occupants of the development.

In this case the inspector considered the change of use from a less vulnerable classification as an agricultural building to a more vulnerable use as a dwelling under Table 2 of PPG.5 involved an increase in flood risk for future occupants as the site was located in a high flood risk area.

Whilst the appellant had sought to address the issue by raising the floor levels in the building, they had not included any details about anticipated flood depths, so the inspector could not tell whether the mitigation measures would be sufficient. An escape hatch onto a roof was also deemed inappropriate. The inspector referred to paragraph 163 of the revised NPPF regarding flood resilience and resistance and felt the proposal did not meet these requirements because of a lack of site-specific flood information. The appellant had included information from the council’s strategic flood risk assessment but the inspector deemed this insufficient for the purposes of fulfilling paragraph Q2 of the GPDO, despite no objection from the Environment Agency and other recent new buildings in the vicinity.

Inspector: Steven Rennie; Written representations

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