National Planning Framework

On 17th March 2012, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) outlined the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which unified and superseded previous Planning Policy Guidelines, including PPS 23 (dealing with Planning and Pollution control), and PPS25 (concerned with Flood Risk assessment).

The National Planning Policy Framework is the method by which planning policies for England are outlined, and it provides guidance for local planning authorities regarding the overall planning strategy.  The framework requires planners to consider the potential impact of contaminated land, and  geotechnical stability when making determinations.

The introduction of the NPPF was also an effort to streamline the planning process and reduce the level of complexity in the system.

In particular, the NPPF states that policies and decisions associated with developments should ensure that:
“the site is suitable for its new use taking account of ground conditions and land instability, including from natural hazards or former activities such as mining, pollution arising from previous uses and any proposals for mitigation including land remediation or impacts on the natural environment arising from that remediation.”

Development and Flood Risk

The NPPF also requires planners to consider the impact of a development on likelihood of flooding, as well as the potential risk resulting to the proposed development from the effects of flooding. This may involve an examination of both the statistical probability of a flood event occurring as well as the scale of its potential consequences, either from rivers, or from the sea.

As environmental, and hydrological consultants, PBA can provide advice on how planning legislation may be likely to affect a proposed development, to liaise with the regulators, and to provide investigation where necessary to comply with planning requirements.