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The Jubilee River story - RBWM - Flood map update



              CABINET: 15 DECEMBER 2005




          1.           PURPOSE OF REPORT


1.1          To inform Members of the new flood risk data received from the Environment Agency in the form of the Flood Map for England and Wales September 2005.


2.                       MEMBER'S RECOMMENDATION:   That the Flood Map for England and Wales September 2005 be adopted for development control purposes and to inform the Local Development Framework.




3.1         Wards Affected


              All wards.


3.2                   Relevant Matters Upon Which Decision is Based




3.2.1      Planning Policy Guidance Note 25: Development and Flood Risk (PPG25) confirms that flooding is a material consideration that must be taken into account when making planning decisions.  PPG25 promotes a risk-based approach to flooding by identifying three flood zones based on the annual probability of flooding (see table below).


Flood Zone


Annual Probability of Flood

1. Little or no risk

<0.1% (1 in 1,000 year)

2. Low to medium risk

0.1-1% (between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000)

3. High risk

>1% (1 in 100 year)


New Flood Risk Data


3.2.2      The Environment Agency (EA) has recently released the Flood Map for England and Wales September 2005.  This updates the Flood Map data and the Lower Thames Flood Risk Map (LTFRM) received from the EA in April 2005.


3.2.3      The Flood Map provides spatial data showing the extent of flood zone 3: high risk and flood zone 2: low to medium risk.  The LTFRM is the culmination of a separate project looking at the River Thames from Hurley to Teddington and provides data on the area at high risk from flooding.  The EA advised that the LTFRM supplements the Flood Map.  Cabinet resolved to adopt Flood Map April 2005 and the Lower Thames Flood Risk Map for planning purposes at their meeting of 28th July 2005.


3.2.4      As previously reported to Cabinet it was the EA’s intention to combine the Flood Map and the LTFRM into a single data set this autumn.  The Flood Map September 2005 achieves this task.  An initial examination of the new data shows that the extent of the area liable to flood in the Flood Map September 2005 is similar to the combined Flood Map April 2005 and the LTFRM, however, an increase in the extent of the area liable to flood is visible in the vicinity of Holyport and Paley Street.


3.2.5      Maps showing the changes will be available at the Cabinet meeting.


Consultation Arrangements with the Environment Agency


3.2.6      The EA advises that the new data supersedes that currently used by the planning service.  The Council should continue to consult the EA under current protocols but in accordance with the new data.


3.3         Options Available and Risk Assessment


Option 1 – the recommendation of this report: By adopting the Flood Map September 2005 the Council will be utilising flood risk data consistent with that used by the EA.  This is essential if the Council is to make robust planning decisions.  PPG25: Development and Flood Risk, in particular paragraph 24 advises that ‘Authorities and others involved in the planning process should ensure that they are using the latest available version.’


Option 2: Do nothing – To not adopt the Flood Map September 2005 would result in the Council utilising flood risk data which is considered out-of-date and the giving of advice that would be in conflict with that offered by the EA.  This would provide a confusing message to the general public and give rise to the potential for challenge by the development industry at planning appeals, including the risk of the Council incurring costs.


3.4         Reasons Supporting Recommendation


3.4.1      The EA are utilising the Flood Map September 2005 as the basis for their representations on development located in areas liable to flood.  It is therefore important that the Council’s development control function utilises the same data when determining planning applications.  Up-to-date information is also essential to inform the Local Development Framework.


3.4.2      In August 2004 and July 2005, the Cabinet resolved to adopt previous versions of the EA’s Flood Map for development control purposes as the basis for consulting the EA on related planning applications.  The Flood Map September 2005 provides the latest information on flood zones as identified by the EA and its adoption is consistent with the previous decision of Cabinet.


3.5         Relevant National/Regional Guidance


q       Planning Policy Guidance Note 25: Development and Flood Risk.


3.6         Relevant Council Policies/Strategies


              The relevant Council strategies and policies are:


q       Community Strategy of the Royal Borough Partnership;

q       RBWM Local Plan (Incorporating Alterations Adopted June 2003);

q       Berkshire Structure Plan 2001-2016.




              No consultation has been carried out in the preparation of this report.


5.           IMPLICATIONS


5.1                   Financial


              There are no financial implications arising from this report.


5.2         Legal


              The Flood Map September 2005 immediately forms material consideration in the determination of planning application and the consideration of policy through the Local Development Framework.


5.3         Human Rights Act


              There are no Convention Rights under the Human Rights Act relevant to this report.


5.4         Planning


              The planning implications of this report are outlined in paragraphs 3.2.8 – 3.2.13.


5.5         Sustainable Development


              In terms of sustainable development policy, the recommendation of the report will have the following beneficial sustainable development implications:

q     Promoting locations and forms of development that are sustainable.


                   Background Papers:                 

Planning Policy Guidance Note 25: Development and Flood Risk; Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Local Plan (Incorporating Alterations Adopted June 2003); Supplementary Planning Guidance: Interpretation of Policy F1 (Area Liable to Flooding); Cabinet Report ‘Maidenhead Windsor and Eton Flood Alleviation Scheme: Revised Advice From The Environment Agency (26th August 2004); Cabinet Report ‘Flood Zones Update and Lower Thames Flood Risk Map: Revised Advice from the Environment Agency’ (28th July 2005).




 051215 - Flood Map update