Flood Risk Assessment for Essential Infrastructure

Essential infrastructure, also known as critical infrastructure, must be built where it is necessary for operation, which frequently means building within Flood Zones with a high risk of flooding if appropriate measures are not put in place.

Given the 'essential' nature of these projects, they are generally permitted within all Flood Zones so long as they pass the exception test and provide suitable mitigation. Examples of this include; energy plants, transport, evacuation routes, and water treatment works.

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​Aegaea’s expert team have a wide range of experience with these projects, including completing exception tests in order to gain planning permission for essential infrastructure developments.

Learn more about how flood risk affects essential infrastructure planning requirements

We have summarized the useful and key information required to better understand how flood risk impacts your essential development and the importance of a Flood Risk Assessment.

What is Essential Infrastructure and does it require a Flood Risk Assessment?

Essential Infrastructure can refer to a wide range of developments. It’s also relatively unique within planning in that it it’s generally permitted in all Flood Zones, including Flood Zone 3b (functional floodplain). It is, however, still subject to the Exception Test.

The definition of Essential Infrastructure when referring to Table 2 of the Planning Practice Guidance – Flood Risk and Coastal Change is;

  • Essential transport infrastructure (including mass evacuation routes) has to cross the area at risk.

  • Essential utility infrastructure must be in a flood risk area for operational reasons, including electricity-generating power stations and grid and primary substations; and water treatment works that need to remain operational in times of flood.

  • Wind turbines.

​​Each application therefore must be viewed individually; no application is the same. A Flood Risk Assessment iterates this sentiment and each report is therefore unique, especially in the approach and methods applied to each development. This is due to multiple factors, including; environmental conditions, flood zone, type of development, and policy.

How are our team can support you

Essential Infrastructure projects can be much larger in scale in comparison to other types of development when looking at construction/built footprint and land coverage. This can result in sites consisting of multiple flood zones and therefore it is strongly recommended to consult early in the project to understand and plan where certain types of development would be best suited.

By adopting this approach, we can support the evolution of the development to be more acceptable to the regulators at the first submission. This will reduce design costs, potentially reduce project timeframes, and provide an added incentive due to our experience of being able to advise on costs early. That in turn will allow for project budgets to be managed and forecast more accurately.

​​Through our experience, our team can work from the pre-planning stages through to submission of the application advising on the design, layout, and mitigation measures of development.

​​If you are proposing an essential infrastructure development and not sure if you require a flood risk assessment or which flood zone you are located in, contact our team by contacting us or requesting a quotation.

Meet your Experts

Daniel Cook
I’m a Chartered Water and Environment Manager and specialist Flood Risk Consultant, working in the environmental consultancy sector since 2011. Specialist Subject: flood risk policy!
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Nick Darling-Drewett
Principal Flood Risk Consultant
I’m a Principal Flood Risk Consultant at Aegaea with extensive experience in producing FRAs and drainage strategies. Specialist Subject: FRAs
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Kirsty Tolson
Principal Flood Risk Consultant
I’m a Principal Flood Risk Consultant at Aegaea with extensive experience in initial due diligence, masterplan development or dealing with planning issues relating to Flood risk. Specialist subject:...
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