The body responsible for managing flood risk in England and Wales is the Environment Agency. The Agency maintains the majority of the flood defences in the district and provides advice on flooding and new development. You can find out whether your property is at risk of flooding by following the link to the Environment Agency website.
Over 2 million properties in England and Wales are at risk from flooding. Changes in our climate, such as more severe storms and wetter winters, will increase that risk. Through the use of flood risk management, the Environment Agency's objective is to reduce the likelihood of flooding from rivers and the sea through the management of land, river systems, and flood and coastal defences. The Agency is also working to reduce the damage floods can do through effective land use planning, flood warning and emergency responses.
In Related Content there is a link to a flood risk map, which shows the 1:100 flood risk area for fluvial flooding, and the 1:200 flood risk area for tidal flooding; the boundaries of the highest recorded historical flood are shown where this is greater.
Flood Risk and Development
The National Planning Policy Framework, from section 100 onwards, explains the government's policy in relation to development in flood risk areas. As the Local Planning Authority, we are required to follow a 'sequential' approach to the identification of land for development; in effect, new development should preferably be located in areas that are not at risk from flooding. The National Planning Policy Framework provides advice for landowners or developers about Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) and the Environment Agency has a website dedicated to flood risk, which includes detailed information about the assessment process.
Where land is within an area at risk from flooding, developers and agents are advised to make contact with the planning office prior to submitting a planning application so that the implications of the proposal can be fully considered. Applications for development within flood risk areas must be accompanied by full flood risk assessments.
Strategic Flood Risk Assessment
The five authorities in Thames Gateway South Essex (Rochford, Castle Point, Southend, Basildon and Thurrock) have prepared a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) in consultation with the Environment Agency, and in accordance with the advice in PPS25, to inform the preparation of local development plan documents and provide a basis from which to apply the sequential test and exception test in the development allocation and development control process. The Thames Gateway South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment 2010 can be downloaded from Related Content.