Flood planning information

Joint working to produce a countywide Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

Along with the six districts,we commissioned Halcrow to produce a Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS 25). The outputs from the SFRA give us the necessary information to inform the Minerals and Waste Development Framework (MWDF) to ensure due regard is paid to flood risk in the creation of policies and plans. A level one SFRA has been produced for each of the seven local authorities involved.

The aim of the SFRA is to map all forms of flood risk and use this as an evidence base to locate new development primarily in low flood risk areas (Zone 1). Areas of 'low' (zone 1), 'medium' (zone 2) and 'high' (zone 3) risk are mapped using data collected from many sources, including the Environment Agency (Midlands and Thames regions), Gloucestershire Highways, Severn Trent, British Waterways as well as the six district councils.

Whilst the Level 1 SFRA is primarily a desk based study, it has incorporated new data from the 2007 floods. It will allow us to assess the proposed mineral and waste site allocations within the flood risk vulnerability and flood zone compatibility as outlined in PPS 25 and how the 'Sequential and Exception Test' should be applied. The 'Sequential Test' is a sieving process, allocating as many sites as possible that avoid zones 2 and 3.

The Level 1 SFRA involves:

  • Establishing relationships and understanding the planning context;
  • Gathering data and analysing it for suitability;
  • Producing strategic flood risk maps, GIS deliverables and a technical report; and
  • Providing suitable guidance.

Supporting documents

The following appendices A, C, D and E are relevant for all district SFRA's and Minerals and Waste SFRA's

Where it is found that some sites can only be placed in 'medium' or 'high' risk areas, a Level 2 SFRA is required which carries out the 'Exception Test' as set out in PPS 25. The 'Exception Test' is only appropriate for use when there are large areas in flood zones 2 and 3, where the sequential test alone cannot deliver acceptable sites and where some continuing development is necessary for wider sustainable development reasons.

Each respective local authority in Gloucestershire will be commissioning a Level 2 SFRA in accordance with the requirements of their respective Local Development Scheme.

Level 2 SFRA potential outputs include:

  • An appraisal of the condition of flood defence infrastructure and likely future policy;
  • An appraisal of the probability and consequence of breach or overtopping of flood defence infrastructure;
  • Maps showing distribution of flood risk across zones; and
  • Guidance on the preparation of flood risk assessments for sites with varying flood risk across the flood zone.

A Level 2 assessment of strategic waste sites has been commissioned and this will help with the assessment of strategic site waste options due for public participation in August/September 2009. View the Minerals and Waste Policy pages for further information.

Use our interactive map to view SFRA - Flood zones in Gloucestershire.

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