The government's national policies on the requirements for a Flood Risk Assessment are detailed in Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk (PPS25). It explains that the Environment Agency and a Local Planning Authority (LPA) must consult on planning applications for any sites located in Flood Zones 2 and 3 if they are more than one hectare in size.

If any proposals are put forward for a development in the flood plain, the Environment Agency has the power to challenge the LPA, as it is its responsibility to enforce the regulations included in PPS25.

In this document, it states that LPAs have to prepare Local Development Documents (LDDs) that establish how sites are allocated and discuss their development so that the risk of floods to both people and property can be avoided where possible.

The report notes that the risk of flooding should be considered along with other issues such as economic growth, housing, transport and natural resources, among others. Climate change and the potential threat it could have on flooding should also be considered by LPAs. When they are preparing LDDs, they must ensure the potential relocation of construction developments - including housing projects - to locations that are less risky is considered.

When applications are being drawn up, PPS25 states that any construction projects must be supported by flood risk assessments for the specific site. This includes a consideration of whether any developments in flood risk areas are resilient to threats and whether they need to include access and escapes routes if necessary.

"Flood risk assessment should be carried out to the appropriate degree at all levels of the planning process, to assess the risks of all forms of flooding to and from [a] development, taking climate change into account and to inform the application of the sequential approach," the document continues.

The sequential approach refers to the process of determining the suitability of land at potential risk of flooding for development, with the more vulnerable aspects located in less at-threat sites.

When drawing up plans for their project, the report explains developers have a responsibility to incorporate the flood risk into their designs and consider suitable drainage systems and resilience measures wherever possible.

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