Planning Applications

Planning Applications

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Our expertise increases your chances of planning application success

Ambiental Environmental Assessment, a company of Royal HaskoningDHV, are a specialist consultancy for UK flood and environmental risk. We’re focused towards supporting developments and construction projects of all sizes. We’ve supported thousands of planning applications in multiple sectors, including residential, commercial, power, renewable energy, and infrastructure.

If your site is within Flood Zone 2 or 3, or is over one hectare within Flood Zone 1, national planning policies now require your planning application to include a flood risk assessment (FRA), or flood consequence assessment in Wales.

Our experienced ICE engineers and senior consultants stay up-to-date with the latest policy changes and use only the highest quality data to support your planning application, giving you the best chance at achieving planning approval. We can also provide a full range of services to test, collate, and submit FRA’s for any size development, including those in Critical Drainage Areas (CDAs).

The Flood Risk Team can analyse multiple data sources to provide an in-depth flood risk assessment that:

  • Meets essential requirements for planning applications
  • Identifies and addresses any potential risks to planning application approval
  • Suggests potential mitigation measures if risk is discovered
  • Assess the development proposals against national and regional planning policies
  • Ascertain the likelihood and extent of flooding both now and in the future

How to check if your development is in a flood zone

You can check if your development is within a flood zone, and therefore whether an FRA is required for your planning application, by looking at the relevant agency flood maps. You can also check the level of detail that you’ll require from an FRA in the relevant National Planning Policy. You can find them here:

    Get in contact with us today on +44 (0) 1273 006 900 or request a free quote and one of our friendly specialists will be in touch

    How we produce your flood risk assessment

    Once you give us your plans for the development of the site, we’ll liaise with the relevant governing body and your local planning authority to assess their exact requirements. We’ll then request the necessary data to accurately assess the flood risk.

    Each of our FRAs combine the detailed information about previous flood events and consider the potential risks from rainfall, groundwater, rivers, and the sea. We’ll tailor them to match your requirements and advise you on exactly what you need to do to mitigate in each case.

    At every step we can advise you on design approaches to reduce the flood risk to your site. We often act as intermediaries between architects or planning consultants and the environment authority, putting us in a strong position to pass on design solutions to strengthen your planning approval application.

    How our FRAs can benefit planning applications

    solutions compass

    • Reduce the costs associated with planning delays and design changes
    • Speed up the planning process through improved communication with the relevant environmental governing body and local planning authorities
    • Improve your chances of securing planning permission

    What’s in your flood risk assessment

    A flood risk assessment for planning applications is tailored to the exact requirements of the development. However, it will typically include these key elements:

    • Flood risk evaluations as guided by the national planning policy (NPPF (PPS25), SPP, TAN 15, PPS-15)
    • A clear assessment of the likelihood and extent of potential flooding for the site and surrounding area
    • A summary of any existing information of the history of flooding on the site
    • Details of any existing flood alleviation measures which could protect the site from flood
    • Recommendations for surface water management and a sustainable drainage strategy (SuDS)
    • Recommendations to reduce the risk of flooding

    Get in contact with us today on +44 (0) 1273 006 900 or request a free quote and one of our friendly specialists will be in touch

    In addition to this, we can also provide more specific services within your FRA.

    1D and 2D computational flood modelling

    Flood modelling is particularly useful if your site falls within Zone 2 or 3 (medium or high flood risk). It can also be useful if your site is close to a river, watercourse, or drain. To use this flood modelling, we’ll need to visit your site for data collection and then we can produce detailed hydrological models of worst-case scenarios. This modelling data can really benefit your planning application if you have a high risk of flooding.

    Groundwater and basement developments

    If the local planning authority has flagged groundwater as a potential issue with the site, we can develop a detailed conceptual model to assess the risk to the property and design mitigation measures if required. We can also provide site-specific basement impact assessment reports to detail any risk posed by your proposed basement development on your property and the surrounding area. In some boroughs of London, this is now a requirement for basement construction.

    Sequential and exception testing

    A sequential test is used to steer new developments towards areas with the lowest possibility of flooding. If you site has not been allocated or tested then you may need to include this within your planning application.

    This requires a comparative analysis of the flood risk to your development site compared to other potential sites that fall within the comparison area. Our consultants can advise you whether it’s required or not for your development.

    Sustainable Drainage Strategies (SuDS)

    Local planning authorities often require developers to plan how they will manage surface water for their development. We can provide Sustainable Drainage Strategy (SuDS) reports to satisfy this requirement. If a surface water plan is already in place, we can check this strategy with policy guidelines to make sure it has the best chance of gaining planning approval. You can view more about our SuDS strategies here.

    BREEAM accreditation

    We can help you get credits for environmental accreditations to help you gain better management of environmental risks, increased access to new customers and business partners, demonstrate legal and regulatory compliance, and the potential for reduced liability insurance costs.

    Flood Response Plans

    Our reports can also include suggestions that will enable you to set up and maintain flood warning and evacuation plans in the event of various levels of potential flooding.


    When you work with Ambiental Environmental Assessment, you increase your chances of planning approval success.

    How long does a Flood Risk Assessment take?

    Over the years, we’ve developed a great working relationship with each governing agency throughout the UK. We know the best ways to obtain their data, so we can deliver flood risk assessments both quickly and efficiently.

    We request much of our data from the Environmental Agency (EA), or the relevant governing agency, so our turnaround is determined by their workload at the time. The EA have a statutory 20 working day turnaround for all enquires, including data. Sometimes, we can achieve a quicker turnaround if the EA’s workload in your area is low. Generally, it will take those 20 days for us to receive the data.

    From then, we conduct thorough analysis with our in-house GIS software. Once this is done, we’ll review the results with you and examine the risk of flooding before we complete the report. We make sure to keep you up-to-date throughout the whole process so you’re always aware of timelines so you can get on with organising the rest of the planning application.

    Can I fast-track an FRA?

    We can fast-track your Flood Risk Assessment if you’re working to a tight timescale and need to get your planning application validated right away. We can put a rush on our analysis work, however, we’re still beholden to the relevant agency for their data. Thanks to our great relationship, we can usually get data a little quicker if necessary but we can’t guarantee this.

    Steven Brown Ambiental Associate

    Need an FRA? Get In Touch With Our Flood Risk Team

    To get a quote or to discuss what you need, contact one of our Flood Risk Consultants.

    Call the team on +44 (0) 1273 006 900  or email at [email protected]

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