Draft flood guidelines published

Building developments on floodplains could come to an end if draft planning guidelines published today are approved.

The draft guidelines, which have been published for public consultation, are designed to ensure a more systematic approach “to fully incorporate flood risk assessment and management into the planning system”.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley, who published the document with Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Dr Martin Mansergh, said: “Building on a flood plain is something we want to see ending.”

Zoning and permission for land could be reassessed if it is considered to be at flooding risk.

The guidelines would also require homeowners looking to pave over gardens or driveways to seek planning permission, in a bid to reduce flooding risk.

Paved areas stop water from being absorbed into the earth, instead creating run-off which can accumulate and contribute to floods.

Mr Gormley said: “In relation to paving, yes, hard surfaces do result in run-off but there are sensible compromises.

“You can use gravel or some sort of permeable material, maybe some sort of slate or whatever, that can actually solve the problem so that you have soakage and you don’t get that sort of run-off which is resulting in flash-flooding.”

A similar law is set to come into force next month in parts of the UK which will ban homeowners from paving over their driveways without planning permission because of flooding concerns.

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