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Managing Flood Risk and Drainage

mail us tiny 20 SPP TEAM
telephone tiny 20 0131 244 5906

Area 2-H (South)
Planning & Architecture Division,
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay


Managing Flood Risk and Drainage

Flooding - EdinburghOn flooding and drainage the NPF3 aims to build the resilience of our cities and towns, encourage sustainable land management in our rural areas, and to address the long-term vulnerability of parts of our coasts and islands to flood risk.  Planning can play an important part in reducing the vulnerability of existing and future development to flooding.

The planning system should promote:

  • a precautionary approach to flood risk from all sources;
  • flood avoidance: by safeguarding flood storage and conveying capacity, and locating development away from functional flood plains and medium to high risk areas;
  • flood reduction: assessing flood risk and, where appropriate, undertaking natural and structural flood management measures; and
  • avoidance of increased surface water flooding through requirements for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and minimising the area of impermeable surface.

To achieve this the planning system should prevent development which would have a significant probability of being affected by flooding or would increase the probability of flooding elsewhere.

Development Planning

Development plans should use the flood risk framework outlined in the SPP to guide development.

Development Management

The flood risk framework should be applied to development management decisions. It is not possible however to plan for development solely according to the calculated probability of flooding. The SPP sets out a number of considerations to take into account in applying the risk framework to proposed development.

Current Action

A consolidated Planning Advice Note is currently under preparation on flooding and drainage. This will consolidate the current PANs 61, 69 and 79 into one PAN.