Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) For Planning

Increase your chance of planning success with a professional Flood Risk Assessment & Report by FPS Environmental Ltd.

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We are experts in Flood Risk Assessments, dedicated to maximising planning application success.

 

At FPS Environmental, we possess specialised skills in precisely evaluating and handling flood risks. We cater to a wide range of clients, from small-scale residential projects through to large-scale commercial contracts, providing them with a comprehensive and value-based approach.

When choosing our services, you can rest assured knowing you are receiving the best service in the sector. Our Flood Risk Assessment reports will provide you with a detailed analysis of any flood risks, along with comprehensive advice on how to mitigate that risk, maximise safe development potential, and ensure the safety and value of your development is protected, whilst meeting necessary planning guidelines.

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What is a Flood Risk Assessment?

Your planning proposal might be refused if it lacks a suitable Flood Risk Assessment. A Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) is a report that evaluates the impact of flood risks to a site. Flooding can occur from different sources such as rivers, the sea, sewers, groundwater, reservoirs, and as a result of surface water run-off. Flood Risk Assessments are used to support planning applications to demonstrate that both the development, and occupants will be safe during the lifespan of the property. The report must include an assessment of the relevant risks, and a suitable and compliant mitigation strategy.

An FRA should evaluate the risks to a site from all of these sources and, where feasible, provide recommendations for mitigation measures to alleviate the impact of flooding on a site and its surrounding area.

An FRA is generally required to be submitted as part of a planning application for all potential site developments proposed in designated flood zones.

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When are Flood Risk Assessments Needed?


To satisfy national planning policies, if you are planning a development within a flood zone, you will be required to undertake a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA).  Requirements for an FRA differ between Scotland, England, and Wales where planning matters are devolved. 

Without a supporting Flood Risk Assessment, the planning application may be denied.

A Flood Risk Assessment in England is required when:

  • In flood zone 2 or 3, including minor developments and changes of use.
  • More than 1 hectare (ha) in flood zone 1.
  • Less than 1 ha in flood zone 1, including a change of use in development type to a more vulnerable class (for example, from commercial to residential), where they could be affected by sources of flooding other than rivers and the sea (for example, surface water drains, reservoirs).
  • In an area within flood zone 1 with critical drainage problems (as notified by the Environment Agency).

If you are unsure whether or not you are planning development within a flood zone, you can find out what flood zone you’re in here.

We always advise that you contact your local planning authority to check if your development site is in an area previously identified as having a critical drainage problem.

If you believe you require a flood risk assessment, contact us.

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Why are Flood Risk Assessments Needed?

 

A Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) is a report that evaluates the impact of flood risks to a site. Flooding can occur from different sources such as rivers, the sea, sewers, groundwater, reservoirs, and as a result of surface water run-off.

An Flood Risk Assessment is required to demonstrate that:

  1. The flood risk to a proposed development is acceptable, and that development is directed to areas of lower flood risk where possible.
  2. The flood risk to areas outside of a site is not increased as a result of a proposed development.
  3. Appropriate flood mitigation measures are provided where required.

Assessing flood risk is important as the level of risk could mean that:

  1. Development proposals may need to include flood mitigation or flood resilience measures to minimise the effects and impacts of flooding; or.
  2. Development may not be permitted at all.

An FRA should evaluate the risks to a site from all of these sources and, where feasible, provide recommendations to help mitigate and reduce the risk and impact of flooding on both the side, and its surrounding areas to ensure it is safe over its proposed lifespan.

 

Assessment of Flood Risk

What is the Flood Risk Assessment Process?

At FPS Environmental, we perform in-depth desk studies to analyse the likely areas of flood risk across a site, along with the potential sources of flooding. This includes assessing the location and surrounding area, topography of the land, underlying geology, drainage, model data, and relevant historic data.

Each report is reviewed and approved by Chartered professionals from CIWEM, thus ensuring the highest industry standards are offered by our team. What is CIWEM? It is a professional membership accreditation, that promotes high quality environmentally and water-friendly management practises.

Our flood risk assessments are bespoke to your development and comply with all local planning requirements. We are experts in flood risk management, resulting in planning success.

FPS work with homeowners, private investors, planners, architects, local councils, development organisations, and contractors.

We have an extensive background and experience undertaking flood risk assessments to support planning applications across a range of properties, flood zones, and development proposals.

Our highly qualified engineers and consultants will work closely with you to understand the risk and develop solutions to mitigate flood risk for your development.

Our Timeline

When it comes to development projects, we understand that time is of the essence, which is why we make it our mission to move as quickly as possible without compromising the integrity of our assessment.

1)  Clients will receive a same-day quote from the FPS team

2) An initial site review will be performed within 48 hours

3) A full report will be produced within 7 days of the receipt of necessary site data.

 

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How Can Flood Risk Be Managed?

Site layout:

A site’s layout can be optimised through carefully assessing the flood risk. On new developments it may be possible to place the proposed developments in the area of least flood risk, and utilise the site to effectively allow for safe access and egress, along with a SuDS scheme incorporated.

 

Flood mitigation and flood resilience measures:

If necessary, the FRA should propose flood mitigation measures to ensure the flood risk to a proposed development is minimised, managed or mitigated. A technical assessment of any proposed mitigation measures may also be required to ensure they will not exacerbate flood risk elsewhere. For example, if a large defence scheme was proposed, it would be necessary to determine what the impact of the flood water displacement would be, and manage it suitably.

Surface water management:

Surface water management measures in the form of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are also typically required to ensure any increase in surface water run-off does not impact areas outside of the site.

Flood storage

As part of your development you may be required to attenuate flood water. To ensure the risk is not exacerbated elsewhere, your site may be required to include Compensatory Flood Storage.

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What Are the Main Objectives for an FRA?

The aim of an FRA is to find out:

  • Whether the proposed development is likely to be affected by current or future flooding from a range of sources.
  • Whether the development will increase flood risk elsewhere.
  • Whether the mitigation measures proposed to deal with the potential flood risk are appropriate.
  • Whether the development will be safe over its lifetime.

What does a Flood Risk Assessment Involve?

Each report is unique and tailored to the particular land, property, or development project being assessed. It should consider full details of the location, and surroundings using specific data and software, which can include topographic data, LiDAR data, and hydraulic modelling.

The report should assess the proposed use of the development, the number of people who will be on site or use the development, and how it will impact on flood risk in the local area, along with how the risk can be managed to ensure the development proposed is both safe and suitable over its lifespan. The report must be in line with necessary legislation and the National Planning Policy Framework.

The data is often complex and displays modelled flood extents at a site, showing the proposed developments vulnerability to varying flood risk scenarios and climate change variability allowances.

Appointing a Flood Risk Consultant

Every property is unique with regards to the construction type, and external factors such as local drainage, geology, infiltration, and topography. Understanding the relationship between these site factors, alongside Flood Risk Model data is highly important. Our qualified Flood Risk Consultants have a keen eye for detail and understand how these factors all link, as well as their impact on potential flooding.

Flood Risk Assessments must be extremely thorough and detailed. The report must assess all elements of the proposed designs and compare them with varying flood model scenarios. Often these scenarios are assessed over the development’s lifetime, meaning that climate change allowance flood model data is often used to assess the flood depths at a site in the future. This requires a trained professional’s expertise and experience, as proposed plans may need to be altered to compensate for future climate change allowances.

Can I Prepare a Flood Risk Assessment Myself?

There is nothing stopping anyone from conducting their own Flood Risk Assessment for their proposed development, however whilst unqualified personnel can produce their own Flood Risk Assessments, FPS Environmental would not recommend this. Accurately assessing flood risk can be complicated, especially where specific software is required to handle the raw model data. Alongside this, laypeople are not likely to carry suitable insurance for their assessment, which could pose future issues.

Developing a site is a costly process, and to ensure best practice is followed, early engagement with a Flood Risk Consultant is recommended. This will allow the optimal outcome for the site to be proposed, saving time and money over the development. Additionally, in order to comply with legislation, Flood Risk Assessments are frequently necessary, and they will to be authorised by the appropriate authorities before planning is approved and construction can start.

Getting a qualified professional to conduct a Flood Risk Assessment is always recommended and highly advised.

A Renewed Focus on Surface Water Drainage

The UK government’s recent announcement that it intends to apply Schedule 3 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 must be closely monitored by developers. This calls for the installation of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in all new construction starting in England in 2024. You can read more about the proposals here: Sustainable Drainage Systems | Schedule 3.

In order to lessen the risk of flooding and enhance water quality, sustainable drainage systems are created to handle surface water runoff from developments in a manner that mimics natural processes.

FPS Environmental Ltd are well placed to assist with your Drainage Design needs as part of any Flood Risk Assessment or site development.

What If you Need a Bespoke Flood Model?

In certain instances, National flood model data may not be sufficiently detailed to maximise the safe development potential of a site. In these instances you may require bespoke Flood Modelling for the site, focusing on the terrain and topography, hydrology and potential storm events. A bespoke model should not be seen as a set-back, but the opportunity to ensure the site can be safely utilised over its lifespan, helping protect its future value. FPS Environmental can assist to ensure a smooth and optimal development proposal is achieved.

How Can We Help?

Our flood risk assessments use the most up-to-date and high-tech data available, combined with working collaboratively with a range of sectors such as the Environment Agency, Architects, Lead Local Flood Authorities, and with the client themselves.

Our highly qualified engineers and consultants will work closely with you to understand the risk and develop solutions to mitigate flood risk for your development.

If you’re unsure and need advice, then get in touch with our team of specialists who can help and advise at enquiries@fpsenvironmental.co.uk or call 020 8050 3194.

Client Testimonials

Here are some of our latest testimonials from satisfied customers. If you'd like to discuss your requirements further, please don't hestitate to get in touch.

Hannah Rogers

FPS Environmental were great to work with. They responded immediately to my initial enquiry and followed up quickly with a quote. A very friendly, efficient and professional service. Thanks!

James Langton

Karen was a pleasure to deal with and entirely professional. Thanks!

Suzy Foster

FPS completed a flood risk assessment for me. Really helpful company. Very flexible with the many amendments needed! The final report is excellent.

Alex Duncan

Good to work with, Karen always helpful, and provided a detailed and professional report in a timely fashion.

Peter Blackadder

Excellent phone based advice on a prospective property purchase.

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Mr Ashcroft

Preston

“Simon is a very experienced flood protection specialist. He was very professional and knowledgeable in his services.”

Mr Lattimer

Sevenoaks

“The survey and report were very thorough and really gave me what I needed”

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Mr. Blakely

Buckinghamshire

“The report is professional and informative, as indeed were the two surveyors who attended our property”

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