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Flood risk

The following evidence supports the BCP Local Plan:

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRAs) are produced to provide a comprehensive and robust flood risk evidence base to support the production of the BCP Local Plan, the selection of site allocations within it, and to guide day to day development management decisions. This is done through the application the 'Sequential Test' and the 'Exception Test'. National planning guidance further advocates a tiered approach to flood risk assessment and identifies two levels of the SFRA:

  • Level 1: where flooding is not a major issue and where development pressures are low. The assessment should be sufficiently detailed to allow application of the Sequential Test
  • Level 2: where land outside Flood Zones 2 and 3 cannot appropriately accommodate all the necessary development creating the need to apply the NPPF’s Exception Test. In these circumstances the assessment should consider the detailed nature of the flood characteristics within a Flood Zone and assessment of other sources of flooding.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessments prepared by the predecessor councils provide the current evidence base:

We are preparing a new Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for the entire BCP Council area to replace these. The following evidence is planned to support the BCP Local Plan. This is not a comprehensive list and once completed will be published here:

  • BCP Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA Level 2)
  • BCP Flood Risk Management Strategy
  • Strategic Management Plan 2 Refresh
  • Christchurch Town Centre Flood Risk SPD.

Advice for the general public - not for planning purposes

The SFRA is prepared for future planning purposes - if you want to know if your property is at risk of flooding now, to check if you are at risk of flooding, and for advice on what to do if you are, please refer to the Environment Agency Flood Maps.

Advice for developers - for planning purposes

The NPPF was updated in 2021 and provides clarity on application of the sequential test for planning purposes. The NPPF confirms that the SFRA should be the starting point for the Sequential Test for permitting development. The sequential test should take into account current and future impacts of climate change as confirmed by NPPF paragraphs 159, 161 and 162.

The first stage in undertaking the Sequential Test is to identify all available sites within the search area which would be suitable for the type of development being considered. The search are should include all allocated sites in current local plans and sites within 5 year land supply statements.

We have prepared an explanatory note (December 2021) which explains the relevant SFRAs across the BCP area and provides some additional guidance regarding the flood zones and the sequential test.