PPS 15: Planning and Flood Risk
The Department of the Environment is responsible for planning control in Northern Ireland. The Planning Service, an Agency within the Department, administers its planning functions.
The Department has a statutory duty, laid down in Article 3 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991, to formulate and co-ordinate policy for securing the orderly and consistent development of land and the planning of that development. The Department is required to ensure such policy is in general conformity with the Regional Development Strategy.
The Department’s planning policies are normally issued through Planning Policy Statements and PPS 1 ‘General Principles’ advises that:
“Planning Policy Statements set out the policies of the Department on particular aspects of land-use planning and apply to the whole of Northern Ireland. Their contents will be taken into account in preparing development plans and are also material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.”
This Planning Policy Statement, PPS 15 ‘Planning and Flood Risk’ sets out the Department’s planning policies to minimise flood risk to people, property and the environment. It embodies the Government’s commitment to sustainable development and the conservation of biodiversity. It adopts a precautionary approach to development and the use of land that takes account of climate change and is supportive to the wellbeing and safety of people.
The policies of this Statement supersede Policy PSU 10 ‘Development at Risk’ of the Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland insofar as this policy relates to flood risk. Where this matter is referred to elsewhere in the Planning Strategy the policies of this Statement take precedence.
The policies of this Statement also take precedence over the provisions of existing development plans in relation to flood risk. Future development plans will take account of and be consistent with this Statement.
This Policy Statement has been subject to an equality impact screening exercise in line with the statutory obligation contained in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The outcome of this exercise indicates that the PPS is unlikely to have any significant adverse implications for equality of opportunity or community relations.
Nothing in this document should be read as a commitment that public resources will be provided for any specific project. All proposals for expenditure by the Department are subject to economic appraisal and will also have to be considered having regard to the overall availability of resources.
Because our understanding of climate change is evolving as new evidence and experience of implementing flood risk policy is gained, it is intended that this PPS will be reviewed within 5 years of publication.