PPS 15: Planning and Flood Risk
Policy Context: Regional Development Strategy
2.1 The Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland 2025 (RDS) sets out the strategic planning framework for the promotion of sustainable development in the region. It acknowledges that the effects of climate change will have implications for lifestyles and the form of development in the future and indicates that strategic planning to deal with key impacts that may arise from climate change will be more cost effective than taking retrospective action.
2.2 The RDS underlines that climate change is expected to impact on issues such as water resources, weather patterns, river and storm water management, flooding and coastal management, ferries and ports, business, biodiversity, ecological change and human health. However, recognising the uncertainty inherent in predictions of climate change and their impacts, the RDS advises that a precautionary approach to potential development problems such as flooding is desirable where scientific evidence cannot offer clear direction.
2.3 A number of specific measures are highlighted and these include:
- considering the implications of climate change (ENV 5.1);
- promoting an approach to building development and the use of land which is supportive to the wellbeing and safety of people (ENV 6.4); and
- taking a precautionary approach and minimising building developments in areas considered to be at risk from flooding, coastal erosion, and land instability (ENV 6.4).