Ignoring an important planning directive cannot be in the public interest

To all of our subscribers:

  1. You have probably by now been notified of a revised planning application submission from Bewley Homes. In our view the revised application is not materially different from the original one. However, we advise that everyone should submit a new objection. We do not want the developer or the planners in Basingstoke and Deane to infer that we no longer find the application objectionable.
  1. The planning policy team from B&D has suggested that the Bewley Homes planning application does not require a Flood Risk Sequential Test.  We fundamental disagree with this as an important directive in National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which aims to direct development to areas of lowest flood risk.  Further, this blatantly ignores advice from the Environment Agency (EA) who state in their submission to B&D, on the 5th July 2022 “Avoiding flood risk through the sequential test is the most effective way of addressing flood risk because it places the least reliance on measures such as flood defenses, flood warnings and property level resilience.”.

This submission to the B&D planning portal from one of Bewley’s consultants shows that almost the entire site is at high to moderate risk of groundwater flooding.

EA advice to B&D also states “In accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 162), development in flood risk areas should not be permitted if there are reasonably available alternative sites, appropriate for the proposed development, in areas with a lower risk of flooding. The sequential test establishes if this is the case. Development is in a flood risk area if it is in Flood Zone 2 or 3, or it is within Flood Zone 1 and your strategic flood risk assessment shows it to be at future flood risk or at risk from other sources of flooding such as surface water or groundwater.”

To exempt this application from a Flood Risk Sequential Test would clearly be in the interest of the Developer but ignoring this important planning directive cannot be in the public interest. If this application cannot meet the planning rules then it should be thrown out!

Please write to B&D Planning, ref application 21/03394/OUT to air your views on this apparent failure to apply the NPPF planning rules.