Draft Development and Flood Risk Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

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Please note: This consultation is now closed. 

Background

Ipswich is located where the fluvial River Gipping becomes the tidal River Orwell. The town has historically been at risk of tidal flooding and river flooding. Parts of the town are also at risk of flooding from surface water runoff and exceedance of the local drainage network.

Flood Risk is a key planning consideration. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires development to be directed away from areas at highest risk. Where development is necessary in such areas, the development should be made safe for its lifetime without increasing flood risk elsewhere.

Ipswich Borough Council has prepared a Draft Development and Flood Risk SPD. The Draft Development and Flood Risk SPD will support the implementation of Council’s adopted Local Plan policies by:

  • explaining which developments will need a sequential test, and how to undertake a sequential test;
  • identifying the scope of site-specific flood risk assessments;
  • setting out the approach to safe development (the ‘safety framework’), including building design for flood resistance and resilience, and requirements for safe escape or refuge;
  • providing advice on managing surface water using sustainable drainage systems; and
  • explaining the requirements of the exception test.

The SPD has been subject to informal, targeted consultation as part of its preparation. Comments received during this process are included in the Consultation Statement together with the Council’s responses indicating how points raised have been addressed.

Public Consultation

We are seeking feedback on the content of the Draft Development and Flood Risk SPD. This consultation will run for 6 weeks from 9.00 am on Tuesday 10th August 2021 to 11:45pm on Tuesday 21st September 2021.

Inspection of documents

The Draft Development and Flood Risk SPD and documents that support it are available to view below:

Comment forms are also available in hard copy at Ipswich County Library, Northgate Street, Ipswich (Mon, Weds, Thurs 9am to 6pm; Tues, Fri 9am to 7pm; Saturdays 8.30am to 5pm and Sundays 10am to 4pm).

If you are unable to access the information via the website, please contact the Planning Policy team on 01473 432019 to discuss alternative arrangements.

How to comment

Please submit your written comments on the Draft Flood Risk SPD to the Council, ensuring they are received by 11.45pm on Tuesday 21st September 2021. Please submit your comments in one of the following ways:

  • By email to planningpolicy@ipswich.gov.uk; or
  • In writing to the Planning and Development Operations Manager, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE.

You may use the comment form, but it is not a requirement. You may request that printed copies of the comment form be sent to you by calling 01473 432019.

Flood Risk in Ipswich

Ipswich has historically been at risk of tidal flooding during tidal surge conditions and this risk has been increasing with rising sea levels attributed to a changing climate.

In response to the risk of tidal flooding affecting Ipswich, a new tidal flood defence barrier was officially opened in February 2019. The barrier, in combination with 1,100 metres of new and refurbished flood walls and a series of flood gates on the banks of the River Orwell, are designed to reduce the risk of tidal flooding to homes, businesses and infrastructure. The barrier provides protection to the town for the ‘design flood’ event taking into account climate change uplift to tidal levels to the year 2118. The risk of tidal flooding to Ipswich is therefore a ‘residual risk’ i.e. it is only at risk of tidal flooding in the event of a breach in the flood defences or a failure of the operation of the barrier.

The River Gipping and its tributaries have posed a fluvial flood risk to the Borough in the past, with historical fluvial (river) flood events recorded in 1939 and 1947. New modelling of the River Gipping shows that the town is protected from flooding by flood defences for the ‘design flood’ event during the present-day scenario. However, in the future, as a result of the impacts of climate change, the risk of flooding from the River Gipping during the design event could increase on the northern side of the river within central Ipswich, assuming no alterations are made to the flood defence levels in this area. Based on this information, there is an ‘actual’ risk of fluvial flooding from the River Gipping during the design event in the future.  

Parts of the town are also at risk of flooding from surface water runoff and exceedance of the local drainage network.

The Ipswich Strategic Flood Risk Assessment October 2020 provides detailed technical information on flood risk in Ipswich and updates the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment published in 2011. This does not form part of the consultation.

The Draft Development and Flood Risk SPD updates a previous version of the SPD, which was published in 2013 and updated in 2016.

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