Flood risk is a major factor for new development and it is addressed within UK government policies. These differ throughout the UK, and include the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in England, Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 7 in Scotland, Technical Advice Note (TAN) 15 in Wales, and Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 15 in Northern Ireland. The aim of UK Planning Policies and Local Planning Authorities is to direct new development away from higher risk areas, to those with the lowest risk of flooding.
Flood risk areas are assigned zones, which are designated from ‘high’ to ‘low’ risk. In England for example, the Environment Agency has three designated flood zones, with ‘Flood Zone 3’ covering areas at the highest risk of flooding, and ‘Flood Zone 1’ the lowest. If a development is to be located within Flood Zone 2 or 3, or is over 1 hectare in Flood Zone 1, then a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) must be carried out under the NPPF.