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Can you secure planning permission for new homes on a flood plain?



Before you even think about trying to obtain planning permission – and before you give serious thought to how the new developments would hypothetically shape up – you need to know whether they can be built in areas at risk of flooding.


Can homes be built in areas that are at risk of flooding?


The answer to this question is yes, as The National Planning Policy Framework dictates that these homes should be built away from the areas most vulnerable to flooding, with a proper system in place to counteract potential floods that don’t include the displacement of water to a different area.


How can I assess my land’s flood plain risk?


Before asking for planning permission, you need to assess the risk of your flood plain. This can be done by comparing your land against the Environment Agency’s Flood Map for Planning, which divides up the different areas of the UK.


If your land is a Flood Zone 1 site, there is a low risk of flooding. This continues up to Flood Zone 3, which has a high risk of flooding each year and can contain areas of land such as the Functional Flood Plain – this is where water is stored when floods do occur. Needless to say, if your property is within Flood Zone 3, obtaining planning permission would be extremely difficult.


How can I ask for planning permission on land at risk of floods?


Securing planning permission for areas at risk of floods is difficult. Sequential tests must be carried out before submitting permission.


For example, Flood Zone 3 areas can only be used if there aren’t suitable examples of Flood Zone 1 or 2 areas that pass the Sequential test.


Therefore, when asking for planning permission on Flood Zone 3 sites, you must have clear evidence for the necessity of housing on this land, with examples of safety measures you intend to install. These measures will be tested as part of the process.


Are there any alternatives to asking for planning permission?


After reading the above, you may now be understanding the headaches involved in having to ask for planning permission when building homes on areas of land at risk of flooding. This is in addition to the ordinary headaches when asking for planning permission in normal circumstances, which can outweigh its added value.


Trying to acquire ordinary planning permission can be an expensive, time-consuming process. You can hold development off for months whilst waiting to hear of the outcome with no guarantees, and throughout this time, it’s only you who’s placed at risk.


With the added risk that flood-prone properties add, you may be wondering about any alternatives. The main alternative is that you can sell your land to a developer. As soon as the sale has gone through, you’re stripped of all the hassle.


How much is my land worth?


You may be sitting back now wondering how to value your land so that you can understand how much you could sell it for. At NFC Homes, we make this process easy. You can contact us directly via our website, email or by calling us, and our team of experts will provide you with a free, no-obligation quote.


With more than 15 years of experience delivering over 1500 residential and commercial property developments across the UK, we can offer you guidance throughout the whole process.



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