The agency claimed that the dwelling was positioned in a high-risk area where, in terms of the advice in PPG25, built development was justified only in exceptional circumstances. It argued that there had been no assessment of flood risk and that the precautionary principle required that permission should be refused.
The deputy prime minister agreed that the development conflicted with advice in PPG25. However, because it involved a replacement dwelling with a similar footprint, he judged that it would have a negligible effect on the proper functioning of the flood plain and consequently would not increase the risk of flooding. This amounted to an exceptional circumstance, he decided.
DCS No: 31525197; Inspector: Bob Lyon; Inquiry.