Leading the way on Strategic Flood Consequence Assessments in Wales

As the Welsh Government considers its suspended update to Technical Advice Note 15: Development and Flood Risk (TAN 15), we've been working with Local Authorities to prepare Strategic Flood Consequence Assessments (SFCAs) ahead of the new TAN 15.

Written by George Baker | Associate Director

What is an SFCA?

Strategic Flood Consequence Assessments provide a robust evidence base to inform a Local Authorities’ independent Local Development Plan (LDP). SFCAs should involve the collection, analysis, and presentation of all the available information from all sources of flood risk within a study area.

How does this add value?

Our SFCAs enable Local Planning Authorities to steer development away from areas at greatest flood risk and to advise developers on locally specific approaches to flood risk and development. They also allow local authorities to adapt to the growing challenges of climate change and think strategically about how flood risk and development can be better managed, to reduce flood risk whilst enabling growth and regeneration.

How are we supporting Local Planning Authorities in Wales?

We have been providing regional support across the south-east, south-west, and mid-Wales regions, as well as individual support to a number of LPAs in North Wales. We are proud to have assisted the majority of Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) across Wales with the preparation of their SFCA documents.

We have also worked alongside the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales to provide guidance and support on the implications of the updated TAN15. We facilitated a lively workshop with the Planning Officers Society Wales (POSW) to explore the impact of the new flood risk policy on development in Wales.

What is our approach?

Stage 1 SFCA Report

Our Stage 1 SFCA is a desk-based study which collates existing information and is a broad assessment of potential flood risk across the study area from all sources of flooding. This identifies areas at potentially high risk from flooding and also provides details of historical flood events, along with information on the opportunities to implement natural flood management measures.

Our reports include area specific guidance on the impacts of TAN15 on existing key settlements, along with guidance on implementing TAN15 and managing flood risk on future development sites.

The scope, timescale and requirement for further stages of SFCA will depend on the findings of the Stage 1 work and the circumstances of individual LPAs.

Site Screening

We have developed an innovative approach to site screening by local authorities, using our in-house flood metric tool ‘FRISM’ to calculate a range of flood risk metrics for proposed LDP Allocated Sites.

Alongside this, we have assessed sites against the Justification Tests and Acceptability Criteria of TAN15. This automated approach to site screening is then coupled with an expert review and additional commentary based on JBA local and national flood risk knowledge.

What is our approach?
What is our approach?
What is our approach?
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Want to know more?

For more information on our SFCA work or updated planning policy in Wales, please contact George Baker.


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