Sequential Test Flooding

If your proposed site is at risk of flooding, you are likely to be asked to produce a Sequential Test to demonstrate that your development cannot be located within an area at a lower risk of flooding. At Cedar Planning we have vast experience of producing Sequential Test assessments, so contact us today to find out how we can help you.

What is a Sequential Test for Flooding?

National Planning Policy requires that development is directed to areas at lowest risk of flooding. If your site is at risk of flooding (such as being within Flood Zone 2 or Flood Zone 3) you are likely to need to demonstrate that there are no other 'reasonably available' sites for your proposed development. This includes researching site allocation, planning permissions and land for sale within a search area. 

When is a Sequential Test required?

A Sequential Test is needed if your site is located within Flood Zones 2 or 3, or is at risk of flooding from any other source of flooding - such as Surface Water Flooding or Groundwater Flooding.

For some smaller scale projects, you may not need a Sequential Test. Some examples where a sequential test is not required include:

  • Sites in Flood Zone 1 (unless there are other flooding issues)

  • Minor development defined as householder development and small non-residential extensions (footprint of less than 250m2).

  • Change of use - for example from commercial to residential, unless your development is a caravan, camping chalet, mobile home or park home site.

You also may not need to conduct a Sequential Test if your site is allocated in a local plan and has been subject to the Sequential Test before.

What is a reasonably available site?

Reasonably available site are defined as sites in a suitable location for the type of development proposed. There must be a reasonable prospect that they can be developed in the same timeframe as your site.

Reasonably available sites can consist of a series of smaller sites and/or parts of a larger site.

What is the Exception Test?

If your scheme passes the Sequential Test, depending on the risk of flooding, you may be required to produce an Exception Test. In areas at highest risk of flooding, development will only be allowed if the sustainability benefits of the development outweigh the flood risk. You will also need to show that the development will be safe for its lifetime taking into account the vulnerability of its users and that it won't increase flood risk elsewhere.

What is included in a Cedar Planning Sequential Test report?

Our Sequential Test reports include the following:

  • Introduction and background analysis - this sets out the relevant considerations for applying the Sequential Test;

  • Site Analysis

  • Sequential Test Methodology - we set out the methodology to be used to source and assess sites;

  • Sequential Test Assessments - using the methodology we then assess sites to see if there are any reasonably available sites at a lower risk of flooding;

  • Conclusion

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

wooden structures near body of water
wooden structures near body of water