House on river island exposed to flood risk

The demolition of an Oxfordshire boat house to make way for a single storey dwelling failed to win the support of an inspector concerned by flood risk.

The boat house lay on an island in the middle of a main river within a functional floodplain, and was accessible only by boat. The inspector recorded that changing from leisure to residential use, in accordance with paragraph 164 and footnote 51 of the NPPF, would not be subject to the sequential and exception tests, but stated that the proposal still had to meet the requirements for site-specific flood risk assessments under paragraph 163, as it would introduce a more vulnerable use within Flood Zone 3b and it was therefore necessary to demonstrate that the development and its users would not be placed in danger from flood hazards.

After assessing the flood risk mitigation measures proposed by the appellant, which included raising the dwelling above the defined flood level, utilising flood resilient construction techniques, and developing a flood emergency evacuation plan for occupants, the inspector concluded these measures would not outweigh the increased flood risk posed to the future occupiers, particularly in the light of no flood-free access to and from the appeal property. The inspector dismissed the appeal on the basis that the site was not an acceptable location for a residential dwelling.

Inspector: J Gibson; Written representations

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