Environmental management - guidance

Flooding and coastal change - Planning applications: assessing flood risk

How to complete a flood risk assessment (FRA) as part of a planning application.

Planning applications are normally submitted to and decided by local planning authorities (LPAs).

An important part of the planning application process is consideration of flood risk.

Which developments need a flood risk assessment

You must complete a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) if your proposed development:

• includes building or engineering works in zone 2 or 3 of areas at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea

• includes building or engineering works on land classified by the Environment Agency as having critical drainage problems - more information is available from your LPA.

• changes the use of land or buildings in a place at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, or with critical drainage problems

• changes the use of land or buildings in a way that increases flood vulnerability of the development where it may be subject to other sources of flooding

• is larger than 1 hectare

These requirements are described more fully in footnote 20 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Why you need to do an FRA

You must complete an FRA so that the LPA will know:

• what the flood risks are and how they will change in the future

• whether your project will increase flood risk

• how you intend to manage any flood risk

The LPA will use this information to consider your planning application.

How to complete an FRA

These tables contain information you should have in your FRA, depending on your project type and where it’s located. They also contain information to help you assess your project’s flood risk.

Planning Practice guidance also contains useful information about how to prepare a FRA.

  Flood zone 3 Flood zone 2 Flood zone 1
Non-domestic extensions with a footprint <250m2 and all domestic extensions Advisory comments Advisory comments Householder development and alterations
  Product 3: Basic FRA/FCA Map Product 3: Basic FRA/FCA Map Product 1: Flood Map
  Flood zone 3 Flood zone 2 Flood zone 1
Applications with a site area < 1ha FRA Guidance note 3 More vulnerable Advisory comments
  Product 4:Detailed FRA/FCA Map Less vulnerable Product 3: Basic FRA/FCA Map
  Product 5: Reports Water compatible  
  Product 6: Model Output Data Water compatible WITH overnight accommodation  
  Product 7: CaVMID Product 3: Basic FRA/FCA Map  
  Flood zone 3 Flood zone 2 Flood zone 1
Applications with a site area > 1ha FRA Guidance note 3 FRA Guidance note 3 FRA Guidance note 1
  Product 4: Detailed FRA/FCA Map Product 4: Detailed FRA/FCA Map Product 3: Basic FRA/FCA Map
  Product 5: Reports Product 5: Reports  
  Product 6: Model Output Data Product 6: Model Output Data  
  Product 7: CaVMID Product 7: CaVMID  

Considering climate change in planning decisions

You should consider guidance on future flood risks resulting from climate change when producing your FRA .

Making your development resilient to flooding

Learn more about designing a flood-resilient development.

Flood risk assessment costs

If you use third parties to help with your application or FRA they may charge you a fee for their service.

If you organise your own FRA, your only cost will be for any data you purchase.

If you ask the Environment Agency to review your FRA before you make any application, this will incur a fee.

How long does an FRA take?

FRAs can take several weeks to complete so it’s a good idea to organise them before any detailed design work is carried out.

If your planning application is for a project in an area with a high flood risk, the LPA will consult with the Environment Agency to assess your FRA.

Wales: Flood Risk Assessment advice

Flood risk assessment and planning advice for Wales

Other information to help with your FRA

These maps can help you understand more about your project’s flood risk. They’re also a good starting point for your FRA.

Flood Map for Planning (rivers and the sea)

Risk of Flooding from Reservoirs Map

Risk of Flooding from Surface Water Map

Contact the Environment Agency

General enquiries

Telephone: 03708 506 506

Telephone from outside the UK: 00 44 1709 389 201

(Mon to Fri, 8am to 6pm)

Minicom service, for the hard of hearing: 03702 422 549 National Customer Contact Centre

Details of call charges can be found on www.gov.uk

Email the Environment Agency

National Customer Contact Centre PO Box 544 Rotherham S60 1BY

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