A significant proportion of the borough is located within areas at risk of river flooding associated with a number of different watercourses including the Thames, Mole, Dead River, Rythe and Wey.
It is also affected by more localised flooding from surface water generated by heavy rainfall, elevated groundwater, existing drainage systems as well as artificial sources including several reservoirs.
The pressure for development is high and it is important that the implications of flood risk are taken into account.
Flood Risk Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
The Flood Risk SPD aims to ensure that where possible development is directed to areas of lowest flood risk but will seek to ensure that where development does take place in areas at risk of flooding that:
- it is safe
- does not increase flood risk elsewhere
- where possible reduces risk overall
The SPD is designed mainly as a practical tool to assist applicants in preparing Flood Risk Assessments (FRAs) to accompany planning applications to ensure that sufficient information is provided to support an application.
The SPD does not set new requirements for validation or policy, rather has been prepared to assist in the implementation of Core Strategy policy CS26 (Flooding) and the submission of Flood Risk Assessments. The guidance will help applicants to:
- understand how flood risk is dealt with as part of the planning process
- identify the flood risk to a property or site
- consider whether the proposed development is appropriate
- determine if a Flood Risk Assessment is required
- access the various pre-application services available
- complete the appropriate Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) proforma and prepare a fit for purpose FRA
- submit a valid planning application
- outline which organisations the council will consult with
- determine if any other consents are required
We have produced a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) which brings together various sources of information to provide a comprehensive overview of flood risk in Elmbridge. To find out if a site is at risk of flooding applicants can:
- check My Neighbourhood for areas at risk of flooding from rivers
- check the mapping within the SFRA for information on flooding from rivers or other types of flooding
More detailed information on the degree of flooding (such as predicted depths and likely hazard) can be obtained from the Environment Agency. Applicants will need to refer to this as a Product 4 request. This information is free for householders but developers will be charged. Other detailed information is also available from the Environment Agency (see Section 3.2 of SPD for more information).
The SPD and supporting documents
The Flood Risk SPD was adopted by the Council on 3 May 2016.
To assist applicants and agents in preparing a Flood Risk Assessment in support of householder extensions in Flood Zone 2 or household applications in areas of medium to high surface water flood risk a user guide has been produced:
Failure to provide a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) and where appropriate Sequential and Exceptions Tests, are likely to result in delays in the consideration of applications and potential refusal of planning permission
The completion of an FRA will not automatically mean that the development is acceptable in flood risk terms.