Planning Practice Guidance: Reducing Flooding Risk to Homes
Planning Practice Guidance has been updated to better protect new homes from flooding. Housing Industry Leaders investigates the changes to the guidance and how these aim to prevent the risk of flooding.

The updated Planning Practice Guidance is focusing on helping councils make sure developments meet strict criteria in locations at risk of flooding before planning committees approve them.

Now, councils will need to demonstrate that development will be safe from floods over its lifetime and will not increase flood risk elsewhere.

Change Is Vital Because The Risk Of Flooding Is Increasing

It comes after the risk of flooding in the UK is increasing because of climate change and rising sea levels. Floods Minister Steve Double said: “As climate change makes extreme weather events such as floods more likely, we must do all we can to make sure that people’s homes and businesses are kept safe.

“This guidance will help ensure new developments are designed with flood resilience in mind and do not increase flood risk elsewhere.”

This will build on our record £5.2 billion investment to build around 2,000 flood schemes by 2027 and level-up defences across England.

Flood-resilient And Sustainable Materials Will Be Used

One of the changes highlights that new homes in areas at risk of flooding should meet recommended standards on resilience, including using flood-resilient building materials or moving plug sockets higher up walls.

It is said that councils will now have access to better guidance on how to control surface-water run-off, using sustainable drainage systems to amplify the quantity and quality of water in the region as well as local biodiversity.

In addition to this, the guidance highlights the opportunities new development can bring to reduce the causes and impacts of flooding using natural management techniques.

Councils Must Show That Developments Will Be Safe From Flooding

Housing Secretary Greg Clark said: “We have all seen how flooding is becoming all too frequent. This new guidance will strengthen councils’ ability to require better flood resilience in new developments.

“Councils will need to demonstrate that the development will be safe from flooding for its lifetime, will not increase flood risk elsewhere, and where possible will reduce flood risk overall.”

This will help make sure our homes and neighbourhoods are built to last for generations to come.

Forming part of the UK Government’s mission to level up and regenerate communities by delivering sustainable and lasting homes, the new planning guidance is said to support the delivery of the government’s policy statement on flood and coastal erosion risk management and help the UK reduce the risk of flooding.