The Local Plan for the Broads: Issues and Options Consultation

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17. Flood resilience of existing dwellings

17.1 Issues | 17.2 Flood-resilient buildings17.3 Reference to resilience in our current Local Plan | 17.4 Existing guidance | 17.5 Options

17.1 Issues

The Broads Authority regularly receives applications for extensions or refurbishment of existing properties in Flood Zone 3. These properties may have flooded in the past or may be at risk of flooding. We wonder if there is potential to require owners, through such applications, to improve the flood resilience of the rest of the property. Of course, some owners may have already implemented such measures, but others may not.

17.2 Flood-resilient buildings

The adopted Flood Risk SPD at section 7.6 discusses resilience. It says ‘flood-resilient buildings are designed and constructed to reduce the impact of flood water entering the building (through air bricks, through walls or through toilets or plug holes). As a result, no permanent damage is caused, structural integrity is maintained and drying and cleaning is easier. Flood-resistant construction can prevent entry of water or minimise the amount that may enter a building where there is short duration flooding outside with water depths of 0.6 metres or less’.

17.3 Reference to resilience in our current Local Plan

In terms of resilience and existing properties, this idea is covered to some extent in the adopted Policy SSPUBS: Pubs network, which says ‘the Authority will support appropriate proposals in accordance with other policies in this Local Plan that, inter alia, improve resilience to flood risk’.  The Local Plan also discusses resilience in other places, but that tends to be in relation to new development.

17.4 Existing guidance

There is guidance available for making new build and extensions more flood resilient at: Improving the Flood Performance of New Buildings. Flood Resilient Construction.

There is also guidance for property owners who have either been flooded before, or may be concerned about being flooded, at: SIX STEPS TO PROPERTY LEVEL FLOOD RESILIENCE, Guidance for property owners. This starts off by saying ‘Your property may have been flooded before or you may have seen recent news reports where property has been flooded that was not previously considered to be at risk. Understandably, you might be worried about your home, your family and your belongings. Manufacturers have developed new technologies that can be fitted to your property. When correctly installed and maintained these measures can increase the ability of your property to cope with floods or limit the damage, so allowing you to return much more quickly to your property than if you had no protection’.

The Improving property level flood resilience: Bonfield 2016 action plan sets out recommendations from the Property Level Flood Resilience Roundtable, chaired by Peter Bonfield. In 2015, the roundtable was asked to look at ways to help people protect their property and businesses from the effects of flooding. This action plan sets out what the group has done so far, what it plans to do in the future, and its recommendations to government.

17.5 Options

  1. No policy – do not address, through the Local Plan, the issue of resilience to flooding of the existing housing stock.
  2. Require the applicant to detail what measures they will take to improve the existing situation, with the level of improvement proportionate to the scale of new development proposed (if indeed the property does not have resilience measures or may benefit from more).

Question 19: Do you have any thoughts on the issue of flood resilience of existing buildings?