Flood report gives confidence to Local Development Plan

The conclusion of a detailed Strategic Flood Risk Consequence Assessment (SFCA) carried out by Clarkebond for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council has given confidence to the Local Authority Development Plan and will provide a ‘tool box’ of information for potential developers and planning applicants once the plan is approved.

Clarkebond was commissioned to provide a Stage 3 Strategic Flood Consequence Assessment (SFCA) which involved carrying out detailed and technical investigations for specific proposals which lie within flood risk areas and, subsequently, to allocate proposed development towards areas of lower flood risk.  This Stage 3 SFCA will form part of the evidence base for the LDP and facilitate a risk based approach to development of the sites with respect to flood risk.

The Local Development Plan (LDP) has to take flood risk into account in its strategies, policies and detailed proposals to avoid putting life or property at risk, to avoid exacerbating or creating problems and where possible to address existing problems.  All types of flooding have to be taken into account including tidal and fluvial flood risk, in-combination effects and surface water flooding.

Through detailed hydraulic modelling, which took into account recent developments in the area, the effects of climate change, and worse case combinations of flood hazards, Clarkebond undertook flood risk assessments to confirm the existing baseline condition at selected allocations within the LDP.  Additional modelling was then undertaken to assess the effects of raising ground levels, and then to assess the effects of specific solutions for individual plots within these allocations.

Plan showing study area - SFCA Stage 3 sites in the Harbourside Area

The LDP Spatial Strategy is to facilitate growth in the County Borough, with a focus on the coastal corridor. Port Talbot has been identified as an area for growth and a range of development types are proposed including sites for employment, housing, industry and mixed use. Baglan Energy Park and Port Talbot Docklands are also identified as strategic regeneration sites and their development will lead to the remediation of previously developed land.

The Stage 3 SFCA of the allocations in the nearly 30 ha of the Neath Port Talbot Harbourside area, and the justification test specified in Planning Policy Wales Technical Advice Note 15 (TAN15) confirmed that the areas allocated for development are towards areas of lower flood risk, which is fully compliant with TAN15 guidelines.