PPS 15: Planning and Flood Risk
A Precautionary Approach
5.1 The development of land susceptible to flooding carries with it the potential to increase risks to the safety and well being of people, to property and the infrastructure necessary for a healthy economy together with the threat of irreversible environmental damage.
5.2 Because of these risks and the uncertainties associated with climate change and flood estimation the Department considers that actions to address these matters through the planning system should be based upon a precautionary approach. This approach is embodied in the policies set out in this Statement.
5.3 Proceeding from the known facts and taking a precautionary approach to the uncertainties inherent in the decision-making process, will enable more open and better informed decisions to be made. This will improve the safety of people, the protection of property, reduce adverse environmental impacts and help avoid the need for costly retrospective action in the future.