Northern Ireland Executive announces flood risk policy
Developers in Northern Ireland will have to submit a flood risk assessment within identified flood risk areas as well as demonstrate how these risks can be managed if new initiatives by the Northern Ireland Executive (NIE) to reduce the risk of future flooding are approved.
The proposal is one of many outlined in the NIE's Revised Draft Planning Policy Statement 15 Planning and Flood Risk.
Also included in the policy is a proposal to address safety in reservoirs. This will require developers to provide assurances about reservoir safety before planning permission is granted for any new development close to reservoirs.
Within areas protected by flood defences but still at risk from flooding, under the proposals there will be increased safeguards. This means that new developments where the young or vulnerable are potentially at risk from flooding, such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and nurseries, will not be permitted. Similarly, developments housing hazardous substances that would pose a health risk in the instance of flooding would also be refused planning permission.
In coastal flood plains there will be greater flexibility to facilitate development when the flood risk has been mitigated through raising the land to an appropriate level. There is also new guidance on sustainable drainage and the flood proofing of buildings in flood risk areas.
NIE environment minister Mark H Durkan said: “Up until the beginning of this year, there has only been one year  that did not experience a serious local flood incident. Given the predictions for climate change, the frequency of these events is likely to increase in the future.
“While flooding is a natural phenomenon that cannot be entirely eliminated, we in government need to do all we can to address this recurring problem which can have devastating impacts on individuals and communities − especially the vulnerable.
“I believe it is important to ensure that the planning system continues to manage new development so as to further reduce the risk of flooding to people and property. I also think that developers building near reservoirs should take responsibility for ensuring their safety – making this a planning condition should help create a safer environment.”
Michelle O’Neill, NIE agriculture and rural development minister, who has responsibility for the Rivers Agency, added: “I very much welcome this review of PPS 15 which will provide a clearer and more robust policy statement for government bodies, developers and their representatives on all aspects of flood risk arising from proposed development. My department has been fully involved in the revised policy statement and I look forward to the outcome of the consultation process.”
- Thames Water reservoir to house Europe's largest solar panel array The biggest ever floating solar panel array in Europe is being installed on London's Queen Elizabeth II reservoir... Read More >
- Closer ties and AI could help tackle flooding The impact and likelihood of floods could be reduced through closer ties between people living in areas prone to flooding... Read More >
- Severn Trent fined for supplying water 'unfit for human consumption' Coventry magistrates fined Severn Trent Water £66,000 yesterday after the utility pleaded guilty to 11 counts of supplying... Read More >
- Rainwater spin-out companies offer innovative path Researchers from the University of Exeter's Centre for Water Systems are putting the latest rainwater harvesting and SuDS... Read More >
- Project Focus: Anglian Water uses mapping tool for retrofit SuDS As part of its plans to shape and develop its surface water management strategy, Anglian Water has been working with a... Read More >
- Digging Deeper: Making the case for resilience Building resilience requires water utilities to have a clear and systematic understanding of risk across their business,... Read More >
- Comment: Sustainable ways to prevent flooding With traditional methods of removing floodwater no longer fit for purpose, it's time to find out whether sustainable... Read More >
- Project Focus: Smart flood alleviation system protects Portsmouth A smart hydrometereological system was installed to monitor flood risk in the south coast city, with real-time sewer level... Read More >
- Supply Network Manager Location: Somerset Salary: £30,767 to £41,226 per annum Looking for your next career move in water supply? If so, we may have a fantastic... Read more here.
- Senior Analyst The Organisation The Water Industry Commission for Scotland is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in Scotland. ... Read more here.
- Key Account Manager Key Account Manager Competitive Salary: £40,000+ DOE London and Thames Valley Knowledge, Skills & Experience Commercially astute with... Read more here.
- Contracts Manager Contracts Manager Castle Water Limited Castle Water is the leading independent water retailer in the UK, and one of the fastest growing... Read more here.
- Divisional Customer Services Director Castle Water is the leading independent water retailer in the UK, and one of the fastest growing utility supply companies, supplying services... Read more here.