UK plans for increased flood risk with new standard from BSI

Press release - 07 November 2011

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has released a new standard to help organisations involved in planning developments analyse the risk of flooding and select appropriate risk management solutions.

With rainfall patterns predicted to change potentially leading to an increased risk of flooding, BS 8533:2011- Assessing and managing flood risk in development. Code of practice – responds to the pressing need for standardization in the area between regulation and professional design.
The standard is aimed at a broad scope of organisations involved in development planning such as developers, designers, planning authorities, water companies, land drainage authorities, internal drainage boards, environment agencies and other regulatory bodies.

Designed to provide easier navigation through the regulatory landscape, the guidance set out by BS 8533 can be used to provide a methodology for a producing a Flood Risk Assessment when putting together planning applications. The clear signposting of the relevant guidance across the different regions in the UK should help to reduce the costs to developers during the design and planning stages of their work.

“Any organisation involved in planning developments has a responsibility to consider the probability of flooding and the risks involved,” said Jonathan Griffin, Head of Market Development at BSI. “BS 8533 is the only document of this type on the market, providing route-maps that bring together the different guidance across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. We are confident that it will help users to navigate existing guidance and best practice more easily.”

“Flooding is a natural process which cannot be prevented entirely, but through best practice planning of developments risks can be managed to mitigate social and economic consequences,” Karen Dingley, Chairman of CB/501 Flood risk and watercourses. “Wherever possible, the risk of flooding should be avoided, steering development to areas of lowest risk. Where flood risk cannot be avoided however, it is vital that developers and planners fully understand the hazards that may be posed by flooding, and how these can be managed in a sustainable and cost effective manner.”