The Environment Agency produces flood risk maps. Please see their "Am I at risk of flooding ?" page, which allows you to quickly find the predicted risk of flooding in your area. They provide a searchable interactive flood risk map along with information about:
- How to use the Flood Map
- How to sign up to Floodline Warnings Direct (a service that provides flood warnings)
- How the likelihood of flooding in your area affects your home insurance
- Other sources of flooding
How flood risk can affect planning permission
The Council's policy is to protect the function of flood plains and watercourses, and not to approve development which would increase the risk of flooding. A flood risk assessment will need to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Council that any flood risks to a proposed development, or additional risk arising from the proposal will be successfully managed with the minimum environmental effect. It also needs to demonstrate that necessary flood risk management measures are sufficiently funded to ensure that the site can be developed and occupied safely throughout its proposed lifetime.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published a new standard "BS 8533:2011 - Assessing and managing flood risk in development, Code of Practice", which brings together existing flood risk management guidance issued by Government. The new Code of Practice has been produced to help developers to analyse the risk of flooding and select appropriate flood risk management solutions for their development. It also helps planning authorities to ensure that developers have sufficiently considered flood risk. The Council strongly recommends that this Code of Practice, together with other existing guidance such as contained within PPS25 and its Practice Guide as well as guidance produced by the Environment Agency, are followed when preparing and producing Flood Risk Assessments for developments.
How to reduce flood risk
The following good practice sites demonstrate how a net reduction in flood risk can be achieved with good partnership working and positive planning. The case studies are intended as guidance for planning applicants and developers and demonstrate how net flood risk can be reduced as part of a redevelopment proposal. The principles set out within these case studies can be applied to other development proposals, all of which can collectively lead to an overall reduction in flood risk within the borough.
Council guidance and research into flood risk
A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) of the borough has been carried out. The study identifies areas in the borough at risk from flooding from the River Thames, its tributaries and other sources.
In addition, the Council has carried out a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA), which is a coarse assessment for identifying potential local sources of flood risk in the borough. It evaluates flood risk from surface water (local rain), rivers and ground water.
The Council has also published a Planning Advice Note to support applicants and developers who are required / encouraged to produce and submit a Flood Emergency Plan as part of a planning application. Whilst the Council cannot guarantee the safety of occupiers and users of new developments, Flood Emergency Plans will be requested for certain developments as part of the planning application process to ensure that procedures are in place for occupants/users to retreat to a safe place of refuge via a safe route should a flood event occur. This Guidance on Producing a Flood Emergency Plan can be downloaded from our supplementary planning guidance webpage.
More information on flood risk
More details of the Council's policies relating to flood risk can be found in the:
- Core Strategy (2009): CP3 Climate Change - Adapting to the Effects
- Adopted Development Management Plan (2011): policies DM SD 6 ( Flood Risk), DM SD 7 (Sustainable Drainage) and DM SD 8 (Flood Defences)
General advice on flooding is also available on our website from the Emergency Planning Team Flooding Advice pages.