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Housing: Flood Plains

Volume 697: debated on Tuesday 18 December 2007

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether they have any plans to build more houses on flood plains; what consideration has been given to methods of raising these proposed houses above potential future flood levels; and what has been learnt from experience in the Netherlands. [HL498]

The Government’s policy, set out in planning policy statement 25 (PPS25), Development and Flood Risk, is that development should be located away from flood risk whenever possible. However, it is not always possible to find a location at low flood risk. Where the sequential test shows that there are no available sites at lower risk of flooding and the need for new homes outweighs the flood risk, PPS25 imposes an exception test to ensure that those that have to be built in higher-risk areas are safe and less susceptible to flood damage.

PPS25 imposes new requirements to ensure that those homes that have to be built in higher-risk areas are safe and less susceptible to flood damage. In these circumstances, the raising of new houses above likely future flood levels may be a way of making them safe from and resilient to flooding, as I understand is done in the Netherlands, provided that the occupants have safe access, services such as power, water and sewerage can continue to be provided and the development does not increase flood risk elsewhere.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What assessment they have made of the impact of regeneration of inner-city and urban areas on the requirement for construction on areas designated as at high risk of flooding. [HL507]

Planning policy statement 25 (PPS25) on development and flood risk aims to locate development away from flood risk whenever possible and avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding. Some inner-city and urban areas are already within areas at risk of flooding. PPS25 will ensure that, when regeneration proposals come forward for this previously developed land, it will ensure that they are safe, are less susceptible to flood damage and will not increase flood risk elsewhere. Planning applications will be determined on their individual merits, in the light of local development frameworks, supported by strategic flood risk assessments, and the principles of PPS25.