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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Welcome to Planning Policy

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

Local planning policy for Ribble Valley in the Local Development Framework (LDF) has to be underpinned by a variety of evidence. The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) is one of these evidence documents and is specifically required of all planning authorities by central government. It summarises the current situation regarding national, regional, sub-regional and local flood-risk.

In detail it describes the current state of various flood related strategies, reports and policy documents produced by a variety of bodies, including the Environment Agency, that will affect the Borough in the near, medium and long terms. It deals in some detail with the most important policy document, Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25) Development and Flood Risk. It also brings together a variety of other flood related information and will form a part of the evidence lying behind future flood risk policy in the Borough within the developing LDF Core Strategy. This will inform the selection of future development sites, including housing development, in guiding development away from areas of high flood risk.

It allows Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to apply specific flood related planning tests, including the Sequential and Exceptions Tests, to help them assess the suitability of potential development sites for a variety of different kinds of development.

SFRAs also allow an LPA to understand how current and future climate change will influence flood risks from all sources within its area, and also the risks to and from surrounding areas within the same river catchments. It also informs the Sustainability Appraisal of any Development Plan Documents so that flood risk is fully taken account of when a Planning Authority is considering options and preparing appropriate land use policies. It can also help determine the acceptability of flood risk in relation to emergency planning capability and specify the level of detail required for site-specific Flood Risk Assessments (FRAs) that are required of any developers wishing to develop in particular flood risk areas. Also it contains guidance on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS), which are specific techniques developed to improve the drainage of surface water from new development.

This SFRA has been produced in close consultation with a variety of relevant consultation organisations, including the Environment Agency, and their comments have been incorporated in this final document.

Government recommends a staged approach to developing SFRAs. In local authority areas where flooding is not a major issue and where development pressures are low, a less detailed approach, referred to as a Level 1 SFRA is required. In other more flood prone areas with greater development pressures more detailed Level 2 assessments may be needed. After discussion with the Environment Agency, it is considered that a Level 1 SFRA is appropriate for Ribble Valley at this time. The SFRA should be updated regularly and, should this indicate that circumstances have changed, it may be necessary to produce a more detailed Level 2 SFRA, which will entail consultancy input.