Flood Risk Assessment For Planning Applications

For Housing, Commercial & Industrial Developments

Our Flood Risk Assessment Reports

Our highly experienced chartered engineers and expert modellers ensure that our Environment Agency flood risk assessments are based on reliable data.

Our reports will be fully compliant with the Environment Agency, the local council and the National Planning Policy Framework. This will safeguard your development from flooding throughout its lifetime. The flood risk assessment cost is as follows:

Flood Risk Assessment Single House
From £350.00
Building extensions or change of use with less than 100 sqm
Flood-Risk-assessment-Minor-Development-1.jpg
From £450.00
Less than 9 dwellings or industrial/office units smaller than 3,000 sqm
Flood-Risk-assessment-Major-Development
From £750.00
More than 10 dwellings or industrial/office units bigger than 0.5 Ha
Flood Risk Assessment Strategic Development
£ on application
Infrastructure projects of new sites that are part of strategic sites
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How do we Work?

urban-water-go-head-flood-risk-drainage
Go Ahead

We will contact the Environment Agency and get to work on your report.

urban-water-initial-finding-flood-risk-drainage
48 Hours Later

You receive a flood risk report showing our initial findings.

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Submit our Report

You can submit our report to register or validate the planning application.

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Consultations

We will obtain the flood levels or complete the river modelling within 4 weeks.

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Final Report Includes:

Resistance and Resilience Interventions
Access and Evacuation Plan
Surface Water Management Principles
Flood Compensations Calculations
Evaluation flooding from other sources.

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Our Benefits

Time

We will complete our first report in 48 hours. This allows you to register your planning application.

Support

We support you through planning until a decision is made.

Success

Our expertise gives you the best chance to get planning approvals.

No Hidden Fees

Fixed price for all of our flood risk assessments.

Our Flood Risk Assessment Methodology

We listen to and work with developers, contractors, communities, architects, planning consultants and the Environment Agency to develop sustainable flood risk interventions. Our work is a reflection of our ethics and our commitment to building a more inclusive and sustainable society. We are one of the leading flood risk assessment companies.

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Obtain Project Details

We obtain your development’s drawings, topographical survey levels in mAOD and site location.

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Consult Flood Risk Databases

We collect flood risk information for rivers, sea, surface water run-off, groundwater, critical drainage and reservoirs.

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Evaluate Flood Risk

We evaluate the detailed flood risk information for all potential sources of flooding and create flood river modelling as required.

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Liaise with Authorities

We consult the Environment Agency, water company and local planning authorities to obtain the relevant approval.

Our proactive engineers and modellers utilise their experience with and understanding of the complexities of flood management to provide your development with flood protection. 

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Other Services

Hydraulic River Modelling
Best cost benefit river modelling for your developments compliant with the Environment Agency requirements.
Sequential-Test
Our specialised planning consultants work to produce compliancy reports for local councils.
Drainage Strategy
Drainage strategies fully compliant with national guides and the lead local flood authorities.
Climate Change Adaptation
Green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to Zero Carbon for the protection of communities.
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Flood Risk Map Tool

We have created a flood risk map tool to determine the flood risk for your development. We have put together all of the relevant databases so you have all of the flood risk information at your fingertips. You can find the flooding history of your development with the postcode or by using the site address. 

For example, you can identify the flood risk by town by using flood risk map Oxford or flood risk map London.

Check out this flood risk assessment map tool

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Flood Risk Assessment always required?

A flood risk assessment is required when the development is located within an area at a medium to high risk of flooding. The requirements of a flood risk assessment are underpinned within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for developments. The aim of the NPPF is to move properties away from flood risk areas. The flood risk assessment should demonstrate that areas at low risk of flooding have been considered.

How does a Flood Risk Assessment get approved?

The Environment Agency approves Flood Risk Assessments using the recommendations provided by the National Guidance. The local council approves the Flood Risk Assessments for house extensions and areas located away from main rivers.

When is a Flood Risk Assessment required?

You can check our flood maps to see if you need a Flood Risk Assessment, we have included the Environment Agency flood map for planning within our tool. You can explore our maps using a flood risk post code check.  The local authority will request a Flood Risk Assessment for your  development site if it is located within Flood Zone 2 or 3 when trying to obtain planning permission.

You will also need a Flood Risk Assessment if your development is located within Flood Zone 1 but is affected by any other sources of flooding. Examples of other sources of flooding include: groundwater flooding, surface water run-off, or if your development is situated within a critical drainage area.

How long does it take to confirm the flood levels?

It takes 20 working days to get flood levels from the Environment Agency. This is the standard response time for a freedom of information request. 

The flood modellers at the Environment Agency analyse their river models and supply the latest flood levels.

How is hydraulic model made?

A hydraulic model is a detailed mathematical representation of hydraulic equations that mimics the movement of water over a surface. The hydraulic models will provide the levels, velocity and volume of water. A hydraulic modeller uses either a 1D or 2D model to determine the water movement depending on the type of structures located within the watercourse of the flood zone.

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How do I get the flooding history for a property?

To determine the flood history of a property, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain the address of the property and create a site location map.
  2. email to enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk to provide your contact details and request flooding history. This service will usually cost £25.
  3. 20 working days later, you will be emailed the flooding history report.

If the property details are not available on the flood register, you can do the following: 

  1. Check our flood risk map UK to determine if the property has been flooded in the past.
  2. Contact the local surveyors and property agents to request property details.
  3. Use the internet or local newspapers. 

What does Flood Zone 2 and 3 mean?

Flood Zones 2 and 3 are flood risk areas and are determined by storm event probability. There are 4 flood river zones in England. Flood Zone 1 is an area at a low risk of flooding, Flood Zone 2 is an area at a medium risk, and Flood Zone 3 is an area at the highest risk of flooding. These flood zones can be seen in the flood zone map produced by the Environment Agency. Flood Zone 3 is divided into two zones: Zone 3a and Zone 3b. Flood zone 3a is the functional flood plain or watercourse bed. This is the area that is used constantly by flood water. Flood Zone 3b is an area that can be used by the river as flood water storage.

How to check if a property is in a flood zone?

You can determine if your property is in the river flood zone in a number of ways: 

  • By consulting our flood risk map.
  • By referring to the Environment Agency flood risk map for planning.
  • By establishing if part of the development or property is located within the blue area i.e. Flood Zone 2 or Flood Zone 3.
  • By obtaining the river flood levels (directly from the environment agency) and the property levels if the development is located within Flood Zones 2 or 3. 
  • By sending an e-mail to enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk and requesting the Product 4 information. You must attach a drawing demonstrating the location of your property along with the post code. 
  • By employing a topographical surveyor to carry out a level survey or your house. The levels must be in mAOD.
  • By comparing the levels of your property against the Environment Agency flood levels. Your property is in a Flood Zone 2 or a Flood Zone 3 if the flood levels are higher than your property levels.

We can assist you throughout this process and determine if your property is located within the flood zone. We can also help you to establish the best ways to protect your property against flooding.

Is my house at risk of flooding in the UK?

You can find out if your property is at risk of flooding in the UK by:

It is impossible to determine with certainty if a property is at risk of flooding by consulting the maps alone. Your property can still be at risk of flooding even if it is situated on the border of flood risk areas.

The most successful way of establishing if your house is at risk of flooding is by comparing the levels of your property against the flood levels. You must then factor in climate change allowance to all of these levels.

The climate change allowance for England varies from 600mm to 1100mm. This will give you a better idea of the depth of a potential flood and will allow you to make advance preparations for a flood. These models are updated every three months and should be used only as guidance. It is important to recognize that flood events can be higher than estimated.

For example, in England the Environment Agency provides levels for 1 in 100 and 1 in 200 storm events. By comparison, in Germany and the Netherlands the levels are provided for 1 in 500 storm events.

We can assist you in identifying the level of risk your property is at and the steps you can take to protect against flooding.

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Do canals flood?

 Yes. Canals flood when the flood river levels are high and do not let the canal water have a free discharge. Canal floods are less likely to occur because the flow coming into the canal is in control. In spite of this, canals that do flood have a higher risk to users and to properties in the vicinity. The flood risks from canals are:

  • Boats in the canal moving over the banks and affecting properties.
  • The erosion of canal banks by flood water, leading to total failure of the bank. This can have catastrophic consequences to nearby properties.
  • Water moving quickly over banks and affecting pathway users.

Although canal flooding is a possibility, canals are carefully maintained by the canal and river trusts, who invest substantially in the maintenance of waterways. 

What is a high risk flood area?

In England, an area located within the Flood Risk Zone is classified as a high risk flood area. Flood Zone 3 is an area where the river flows and where flood water is stored. It is uncommon for basements and critical infrastructures to receive planning approval in these areas.

Will global warming cause floods?

Global warming increases the chances and consequences of flooding. This happens because a warmer atmosphere holds more water and thus causes heavier downpours in certain areas. Climate change brings less water to dry areas and more water to wet areas. Long dry spells ensure that already dry soils have les potential to absorb water quickly during torrential downpours. The models provided by the Environment Agency allow for a 30% and 70% climate change increase in flow. In some areas, this means that the current flood levels will rise by at least 600mm (2 feet)!

What should a flood risk assessment include?

A flood risk assessment should include the following:

  • Site address and location.
  • Review of the local Strategic Flood Risk assessment.
  • Description and drawing of proposals.
  • Evaluation of the site hydrology, geology and hydrogeology.
  • Application of the sequential test or standing advice.
  • Evaluation of flood hazard assessments from rivers and sea (including flood levels from the EA), canals, surface water run-off, sewer flood and groundwater.
  • Management of the flood risk. This involves flood resilience and resistance interventions, site access and progress evaluation.
  • Evaluation of the off-site impact of the flood risk. This usually involves the principles for surface water management, the conveyance of flood and the flood compensation storage calculations.
  • Determining the residual risk. This includes site access and public safety, flood warning and evacuation or an emergency response plan.

You can check out our blog which provides further information on flood risk assessment template. 

Do I need a Flood Risk Assessment?

You need a flood risk assessment if your development is in the Flood Zone 2 or 3 or if your development is greater than 1Ha located within Zone 1. You also need a flood risk assessment if your development is less than 1Ha and is affected by surface water, groundwater or located in a critical drainage area.

Do I need a Flood Risk Assessment?

You need a flood risk assessment if your development is in Flood Zone 2 or 3 or if your development is greater than 1Ha located within Zone 1. You also need a flood risk assessment if your development is less than 1Ha and is affected by surface water, groundwater or is located in a critical drainage area.

How long does a Flood Risk Assessment take?

A Flood Risk Assessment takes 48 hours to complete without the flood levels. This Flood Risk Assessment will allow you to register the planning application. The complete flood risk assessment with levels takes 25 days to undertake as the Environment Agency releases the flood level information within 20 working days. Flood models can be ready within two weeks if the flood level information is not available.

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What does Flood Zone 1 mean?

Flood Zone 1 means that the river flood level of risk for your development is low. It also allows the development to be completed without having to put together resilience and resistance interventions.

Can you build on Flood Zone 3?

It is possible to build on land located within Flood Zone 3. For example, you can expand your house or create a development that fully integrates the flood levels within the location and layouts of properties. Housing developments should pass the sequential and exception tests and provide evacuation routes located above the flood levels.

How do you mitigate flood risk?

The flood zone mitigation interventions depend on the depth of floodwater.

For instance, for shallow depth of water up to 300mm (1 foot), the best option is to keep the water out by locating the building above the flood levels. This can be achieved by building walls and floodgates or by raising the final floor level of your development above the flood level by 300mm.

When dealing with deeper water levels, you must account for building materials, foundations, walls, floors, services, fittings, doors and windows that minimize water entry and maintain structural integrity. 

For water entry, you will need to consider materials and construction techniques that facilitate drying and cleaning.

Mitigation strategy must be in compliance with the “CLG 2007 Improving the Flood Performance of New Buildings publication” for new buildings and the “Preparing for floods, Interim Guidance for Improving the Flood Resistance of Domestic and Small Business Properties” for existing buildings.

What is a Compensatory Flood Storage?

A compensatory flood storage is the volume that your development takes from the Flood Zone. It is calculated for all developments within flood Zones 2 and 3.

The compensatory flood storage for both zones should be in compliance with the following requirements:

  • It should be provided on level for level and volume for volume basis by gradually lowering ground levels. Flood water within the storage should flow freely out of the lowered area when flooding recedes.
  • It should be located next to the Flood Zone wherever possible.
  • The volume of the compensatory flood storage provided must be equal to the volume of floodwater displaced by the development.

What do I need to submit as part of the compensatory flood storage?

The following information is required as part of the compensatory flood storage:

  • A site plan indicating the proposed and existing development.
  • A map of the flood zone demonstrating the extent and depth of the flood area for the existing/proposed development.
  • Calculations illustrating the proposed area of displaced flood water and the compensatory storage area.
  • Cross-sections showing proposed and existing ground levels in relation to finished floor levels.
  • A digital terrain model showing the flood in relation to the development.

Extensions

Flood Risk Assessment Single House

Key Benefits:

  • First draft in 48 hours with the final report in 20 days (dependent on ea information)
  • Report in accordance with the environment agency and with national policy planning framework
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Development plans
  • Topographical ground levels

Minor Development

Flood Risk Assessment Single House

Key Benefits:

  • First draft in 48 hours with the final report in 20 days (dependent on ea information)
  • Report in accordance with the environment agency and with national policy planning framework
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Development plans
  • Topographical ground levels

Major Development

Flood-Risk-assessment-Major-Development

Key Benefits:

  • First draft in 48 hours with the final report in 20 days (dependent on ea information)
  • Report in accordance with the environment agency and with national policy planning framework
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Development plans
  • Topographical ground levels

Strategic Development

Flood Risk Assessment Strategic Development

Key Benefits:

  • First draft in 48 hours with the final report in 20 days (dependent on ea information)
  • Report in accordance with the environment agency and with national policy planning framework
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Development plans
  • Topographical ground levels

Sequential Test – District

Sequential Test City District - Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Immediate communication with council to determine study area
  • Report in accordance with the local guidelines
  • Assess multiple resources of planning information as per agreed with the council
  • Give preliminary advice on potential sites
  • Recommend appropriate site for assessment
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report 

What we need from you:

  • Site Address
  • Development Plans
  • Local Planner Contact Details

Single House

Sustainable Drainage Systems Single House

Key Benefits:

  • Design compliant with Building Regs and local water company
  • Scope of site investigations
  • Capacity Assessments from Water Companies
  • Undertake Detailed Hydraulic Modelling
  • Clear Planning Conditions
  • Produce Construction Drawings
  • Providing drawings in .pdf

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Single House

Drainage Strategy Single House

Key Benefits:

  • The drainage strategy will inform the flood risk assessment
  • Assessment of available geological records or site investigation if available
  • Obtain and review sewer plans
  • Evaluate potential use of suds applicable to site
  • Determine climate change allowances
  • Undertake basic hydraulic modelling of foul and surface water
  • Calculate storage volumes to comply with suds guidance
  • Indicate discharge points and rates for foul water
  • Indicate applicable suds and volume distribution at a principle level
  • Provide single sketch concept of the drainage strategy
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments / amendments following first issue of report

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Minor Development

Drainage Strategy Minor Development

Key Benefits:

  • The drainage strategy will inform the flood risk assessment
  • Assessment of available geological records or site investigation if available
  • Obtain and review sewer plans
  • Evaluate potential use of suds applicable to site
  • Determine climate change allowances
  • Undertake basic hydraulic modelling of foul and surface water
  • Calculate storage volumes to comply with suds guidance
  • Indicate discharge points and rates for foul water
  • Indicate applicable suds and volume distribution at a principle level
  • Provide single sketch concept of the drainage strategy
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments / amendments following first issue of report

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Major Development

Drainage Strategy Major Development

Key Benefits:

  • The drainage strategy will inform the flood risk assessment
  • Assessment of available geological records or site investigation if available
  • Obtain and review sewer plans
  • Evaluate potential use of suds applicable to site
  • Determine climate change allowances
  • Undertake basic hydraulic modelling of foul and surface water
  • Calculate storage volumes to comply with suds guidance
  • Indicate discharge points and rates for foul water
  • Indicate applicable suds and volume distribution at a principle level
  • Provide single sketch concept of the drainage strategy
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments / amendments following first issue of report

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Single House

Foul Drainage Design Single House

Key Benefits:

  • Design compliant with Building Regs and local water company
  • Scope of site investigations
  • Capacity Assessments from Water Companies
  • Undertake Hydraulic Modelling
  • Treatment Plant Sizing
  • Drainage Field Calculations
  • Providing design in .pdf
  • Clear Planning Conditions
  • Produce Construction Drawings

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Major Development

Foul Drainage Design Major Development

Key Benefits:

  • Design compliant with Building Regs and local water company
  • Scope of site investigations
  • Capacity Assessments from Water Companies
  • Undertake Hydraulic Modelling
  • Pumping Station Calculations
  • Rising Main Design
  • Provide design in .pdf and .dwg
  • Clear Planning Conditions
  • Produce Construction Drawings

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Minor Development

Foul Drainage Design Minor Development

Key Benefits:

  • Design compliant with Building Regs and local water company
  • Scope of site investigations
  • Capacity Assessments from Water Companies
  • Undertake Hydraulic Modelling
  • Pumping Station Calculations
  • Rising Main Design
  • Providing design in .pdf and .dwg
  • Clear Planning Conditions
  • Produce Construction Drawings

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Minor Development

Sustainable Drainage Minor Development

Key Benefits:

  • Design compliant with Building Regs and local water company
  • Scope of site investigations
  • Capacity Assessments from Water Companies
  • Undertake Detailed Hydraulic Modelling
  • Clear Planning Conditions
  • Produce Construction Drawings
  • Providing drawings in .pdf and .dwg

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Sequential Test – City

Sequential Test City Borough - Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Immediate communication with council to determine study area
  • Report in accordance with the local guidelines
  • Assess multiple resources of planning information as per agreed with the council
  • Give preliminary advice on potential sites
  • Recommend appropriate site for assessment
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report 

What we need from you:

  • Site Address
  • Development Plans
  • Local Planner Contact Details

Major Development

Sustainable Drainage Major Development

Key Benefits:

  • Design compliant with Building Regs and local water company
  • Scope of site investigations
  • Capacity Assessments from Water Companies
  • Undertake Detailed Hydraulic Modelling
  • Clear Planning Conditions
  • Produce Construction Drawings
  • Providing drawings in .pdf and .dwg

What we need from you:

  • Site address
  • Site Layout
  • Topographical survey

Zero Carbon Design

Zero Carbon - Climate Change Adaptation

Key Benefits:

  • Complete Cycle Assessment
  • Early Design Optimization
  • Embodied Carbon Calculation
  • Circularity Assessment
  • Carbon Benchmarking
  • Our calculations are based on the LCA standards (CEN/TC350, ISO 218930)
  • It follows the RICS building stages
  • All CO2 values taken from the verified EPD database
  • Compliant with BREEAM UK and CEEQUAL Standards

What we need from you:

  • External Work Layout
  • Initial Drainage Design
  • Site Layouts

Zero Carbon Design

Nature-Based-min.jpg

Key Benefits:

  • Tackle Climate and Nature Crises in Master Planning
  • Example of Using Nature-Based Solutions around the world
  • Utilize the Government’s Research to identify area in which Local and Regional Nature-Based Solutions can be implemented.

Urban Areas

Hydraulic River Modelling - Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Models fully approved by the Environment Agency
  • Obtain LIDAR data
  • Produce Hydrological and hydraulic assessment
  • Model Climate Change
  • Site Visit
  • Scope Topographical and measurement survey

What we need from you:

  • Site Location Plans
  • Topographical survey of the site
  • All correspondence with the Environment Agency

Rural Areas

Hydraulic Modelling of River Flow

Our Benefits:

  • Models fully approved by the Environment Agency
  • Obtain LIDAR data
  • Produce Hydrological and hydraulic assessment
  • Model Climate Change
  • Site Visit
  • Scope Topographical and measurement survey

What we need from you:

  • Site Location Plans
  • Topographical survey of the site
  • All correspondence with the Environment Agency

Exception Registration

Flood Risk Activity Permit Exception Application - Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Fast assessment on the required exception application
  • Follow up on the Environment Agency
  • Review of your design
  • Review of the contractor’s method statement
  • Assess  the environmental risk for the site

What we need from you:

  • All detailed drawings
  • RAMS
  • Flood Risk Assessment
  • Construction Phase Plan

Standard Rules Permit

Flood Risk Activity Permit Standard Application - Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Fast assessment on the required exception application
  • Follow up on the Environment Agency
  • Review of your design
  • Review of the contractor’s method statement
  • Assess  the environmental risk for the site

What we need from you:

  • All detailed drawings
  • RAMS
  • Flood Risk Assessment
  • Construction Phase Plan

Bespoke Permit

Flood Risk Activity Permit Bespoke Application - Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Fast assessment on the required exception application
  • Follow up on the Environment Agency
  • Review of your design
  • Review of the contractor’s method statement
  • Assess  the environmental risk for the site

What we need from you:

  • All detailed drawings
  • RAMS
  • Flood Risk Assessment
  • Construction Phase Plan

Sequential Test – Village

Sequential Test Village- Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Immediate communication with council to determine study area
  • Report in accordance with the local guidelines
  • Assess multiple resources of planning information as per agreed with the council
  • Give preliminary advice on potential sites
  • Recommend appropriate site for assessment
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report 

What we need from you:

  • Site Address
  • Development Plans
  • Local Planner Contact Details

Sequential Test – Town

Sequential Test Town - Urban Water

Our Benefits:

  • Immediate communication with council to determine study area
  • Report in accordance with the local guidelines
  • Assess multiple resources of planning information as per agreed with the council
  • Give preliminary advice on potential sites
  • Recommend appropriate site for assessment
  • Allows for one set of consolidated comments/amendments following the first issue of the report 

What we need from you:

  • Site Address
  • Development Plans
  • Local Planner Contact Details