AD2 Task 1: Setting the baseline
- Assess all potential causes of flooding
- Identify locations currently prone to flooding
- Identify vulnerable people and assets, including biodiversity that may be affected by a flood
- Assess existing flood risk management infrastructure
- Assess current use of green infrastructure including sustainable drainage systems
- Assess the consequences and vulnerability to an extreme flood event (0.1% probability)
- Provide an indication of the location and extent of the functional floodplain
Setting the baseline involves identification of current risks and consideration of the area’s existing adaptive capacity.
PPS25 requires local planning authorities to carry out a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment. The Environment Agency is developing Catchment Flood Management Plans and Shoreline Management Plans to support strategic flood risk management. SMPs are being developed by a lead local authority. You may consider working in partnership with them to understand and address flood risk in your area.
SFRAs provide information about flood risk throughout the area of the LPA, either individually or combined with neighbouring LPAs. The SFRA will consider the effects of climate change on river and coastal flooding, identify the risk from other sources of flooding, and consider appropriate policies for development in or adjacent to flood risk areas.
Guidance on the purpose and required structure of a SFRA is provided here.
The SFRA and the management plans will help you understand the characteristics of your area in relation to flooding, and to address the sub-tasks below. To fulfil sub-tasks 3 and 6 you will also need to carry out a risk assessment. A framework based on the UKCIP methodology for risk assessment is provided in the setting the baseline section. The Environment Agency only provides information relating to flooding from rivers and the sea. The SFRA should address other sources of flooding and so it may be helpful to speak to the drainage department or the local Internal Drainage Board, the local sewerage company, and owners of artificial structures such as reservoirs and canals.
For sub-task 3 you may wish to refer to Biodiversity South West’s pages on biodiversity and climate change. You will need to consider the impact of climate change on biodiversity across all policy objectives. Risk managers, social services, Local Strategic Partnership members (like emergency services) might be able to help identify vulnerable areas, groups and assets.
This process will help you identify the adaptive capacity of people and assets in your area, in the context of a flood event. With this information you will be able to make an informed decision about where it is inappropriate to promote development and where development can proceed but a Flood Risk Assessment and adaptive measures should be required.