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Photograph - Flooding at Tewkesbury

Flood Warning and Evacuation Plans


A Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan (FW&EP) sets out how a development could be safely evacuated in the event of a severe flood.

It should be appreciated that a good knowledge of the flooding regime at a site needs to be gained prior to the preparation of a FW&EP, so ideally its preparation should follow that of a detailed Flood Risk Assessment. The production of a satisfactory FW&EP will not be possible at all sites.

National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), applicable in England, aims to direct new development away from areas prone to flooding (ie flood zones 2 and 3). For development to be permitted in these areas it has to pass two tests known as the Sequential and Exceptions Tests.

The second part of the Exception Test requires that a developer demonstrate that a proposed new development would be safe for the whole of its expected lifetime. A Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan may be able to help to do that.

Planning Practice Guidance

The Department for Communities and Local Government's Planning Practice Guidance web site provides assistance on the preparation of a Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan. In particular it emphasises that the plan should cover the whole life of the development and so should address the likely effects of climate change. These effects would include rising sea levels and increased flood water depths due to more intense rainfall. These increased flood levels can be extremely challenging when considering the safe evacuation of people from a development.

TAN15 (Technical Advice Note 15)

TAN15, applicable in Wales, has similar aims to the NPPF and also applies similar tests.


At the planning stage a Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan, given the right circumstances, can be used to show how a proposed development in a high flood risk area could be safely evacuated in the event of a severe flood. Once the development is complete the plan would then provide a guide as to how the development should be evacuated in practice.

The preparation of a Flood Warning and Evacuation Plan is site specific so please contact us or further information including a free no obligation quotation.


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