Lord Mawhinney – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Mawhinney on 2016-01-20.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what powers they have, if any, to overrule local authorities that grant planning permission that allows residential or commercial properties to be built on land designated as a flood plain.

Baroness Williams of Trafford

The Secretary of State has specific intervention powers to consider an application for himself before a decision has been issued by the local planning authority and powers to revoke or modify a planning permission before the permission is implemented. Local planning authorities, through their Local Plans and planning decisions are expected to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding by directing development away from areas at highest risk, including floodplains. Between April 2011 and March 2015, over 99 percent of proposed new homes had planning outcomes in line with Environment Agency advice where they had been made aware of the decision.

All local planning authorities are expected to follow the strict tests set out in national planning policy and guidance. Where these tests are not met, national policy is very clear that new development should not be allowed.