Flood risk standing advice (FRSA) for local planning authorities

This detailed guidance was archived on 17 April 2015

This guidance has been replaced by a newer version available at

If you are reviewing planning applications for proposed developments at risk of flooding you can use flood risk standing advice (FRSA) from the Environment Agency as guidance.

As a Local Planning Authority (LPA) you must consult with the Environment Agency (EA) on any proposed developments at risk from flooding before making a decision.

For lower-risk developments, you can use standard comments known as flood risk standing advice (FRSA).

What is flood risk standing advice?

FRSA will help you understand the environmental risk for each planning application and help you process lower-risk applications without the need for direct EA consultation.

Using FRSA will help you:

  • find out whether an application is lower risk
  • decide when to consult EA
  • determine what the consultation should contain
  • understand how to make a decision on lower-risk sites
  • know what information is required to make an assessment of flood risk

EA continues to provide case-by-case advice on developments classed as higher risk by the FRSA.

England: flood risk standing advice

You can download EA’s FRSA tool.

You can find out which flood zone a proposed development is in using the flood map for planning rivers and sea.

Wales: flood risk planning advice

Flood risk assessment and planning advice for Wales.

Checklist for considering a planning application

As part of considering a planning application you should look at:

  • how flood risk affects the proposed development
  • whether the development type is appropriate for the proposed location
  • whether the site’s flood risk is too great for the development
  • whether appropriate detailed designs are being considered
  • whether EA can provide information to support a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA)
  • whether to apply Sequential and Exception Tests and, if so, their implications

The Sequential Test

You should direct development as far as possible towards areas with the lowest probability of flooding. You can do this using the Sequential Test.

The National Planning Policy Framework contains more information about applying the Sequential Test.

The Exception Test

After the Sequential Test, an Exception Test may also need to be applied to a planning application.

The National Planning Policy Framework contains more information about the Exception Test.

Using Strategic Flood Assessments (SFRAs) to support local planning decisions

The National Planning Policy Framework explains how planning can take account of the risks associated with flooding and coastal change in plan-making and the application process.

EA produce guidance to help you prepare Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRAs). The SFRA informs local planning and provides additional flood risk information to help in the determination of planning applications.

Considering climate change in planning decisions

EA produce guidance which explains how climate change can affect flooding and how this should be considered by planners, developers and advisors when making planning decisions.

Contact the Environment Agency

Environment Agency

PO Box 544

S60 1BY

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