Flood risk assessment judged inadequate

A proposal for two dwellings on riverside land in a Worcestershire village has been rejected because it constituted an unacceptable flood risk.

An inspector noted that most of the site fell within a medium to high flood risk category, where PPS25 recommends that development proposals should be accompanied by a flood risk assessment. The Environment Agency advised that this should include appropriate calculations to determine the extent of the one in 100 year flood plain plus leeway of 20 per cent to allow for climate change.

The agency considered that there was insufficient accurate flood level information available for the location. It argued that hydraulic modelling should be carried out so that the risk and extent of flooding could be accurately assessed. An alternative, it suggested, would be to provide photographic evidence showing the 1998 flood in conjunction with a topographic survey.

The appellant attempted to overcome the lack of information by mapping the 1998 high water contour from local knowledge. The inspector opined that this did not amount to definitive evidence of the likely one in 100 year flood risk, although he accepted that it went some way towards meeting the agency's concerns. However, he noted that the assessment did not tackle the implications of climate change or the effect of the development on flood storage capacity.

DCS Number 100-050-194

Inspector Paul Dignan; Written representations.

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