Policy EN11

Minimising the Risk of Flooding

Melton Borough Council will ensure that development proposals do not increase flood risk and will seek to reduce flood risk to others. The Council will do this by working in partnership with the appropriate agencies (the Environment Agency, Leicestershire County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority, Internal Drainage Boards, Severn Trent & Anglian Water and the Canal and River Trust), developers and landowners.

The Borough Council will follow a sequential approach to flood risk management with the aim of locating development on land with the lowest risk of flooding (Zone 1 and outside of surface water flood risk). For development in Flood Zones 2, 3a & 3b, the exception test will be applied in accordance with Table 3 of National Planning Practice Guidance. In addition:

The development of sites in Zone 2 will be permitted where development:

A) is resilient to flooding through design and layout which follows a sequential approach and includes hazard free access to sites for pedestrians and vehicles in the event of flooding;

B) has floor levels which are above the 1 in 100-year flood level plus an allowance for climate change (in line with the latest climate change guidance), with appropriate freeboard; and

C) incorporates appropriate mitigation measures, such as on-site flood defence works and/or a contribution towards or a commitment to undertake such off-site measures as may be necessary.

Development in defended Zone 3a will only be considered where it can be demonstrated that it meets requirements A), B), & C) above, and:

D) it is safe from residual risk of flood defences failing, e.g. overtopping breach and pump failure, and

E) it does not impede flow rates or reduce flood plain storage unless compensatory storage is provided on a level-for-level and volume-for-volume basis.


Development on undefended Zone 3a will only be considered where it can be demonstrated that it meets requirements of A), B), C), E) above and:

F) is appropriate in accordance with Table 3 of the National Planning Practice Guidance, or

G) cannot be located on land at lower risk due to lack of suitable land, where there are exceptional reasons for the development to take place in that location;

Development on the functional floodplain (Zone 3b) will be allowed for watercompatible uses and essential infrastructure only, where no reasonable alternative sites are available and the requirements of A), B), C) and E) above are met.

All planning applications for development in Flood Zones 2 and 3, or which exceed one hectare should be accompanied by a flood risk assessment which should:

  • Be informed by the Melton Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and the best available information covering all sources of flood risk;

  • Be proportionate to the degree of flood risk, as well as the scale, nature and location of the development;

  • Include a Surface Water Drainage Strategy which demonstrates that the proposed drainage scheme, and site layout and design, will prevent properties from flooding from surface water, allowing for climate change effect and that flood risk elsewhere will not be exacerbated by increased levels of surface water runoff;

  • Incorporate Sustainable Drainage Systems and considers their ongoing maintenance unless they are demonstrated to be not technically feasible;

  • Demonstrate that the development will be safe during its lifetime, does not affect the integrity of existing flood defenses and any necessary flood mitigation measures have been agreed with the relevant body;

  • Demonstrate that the adoption, ongoing maintenance and management of any mitigation measures have been considered and any necessary agreements are in place;

  • Demonstrate how proposals have taken a positive approach to reducing overall flood risk and have considered the potential to contribute towards solutions for the wider area;

  • Demonstrate that the condition of any relevant defences and residual flood risk has been considered.

Where appropriate the Council will require developers to restore watercourses to a more natural state through the removal of hard engineering, such as culverts and bank reinforcement, in order to reduce flood risk and provide local amenity and biodiversity benefits

Normally no buildings should be constructed within 8 metres of the banks of watercourses, to allow access for maintenance as well as providing an ecological corridor. In addition, proposals should not result in the loss of any existing open water features.


Proposals will need to demonstrate that there is the capacity within the foul water sewerage network or that capacity can made available prior to the occupation of the development.


Proposals for flood management or other infrastructure offering improvements that lower the risk of flooding will be supported, subject to the proposal not resulting in an increase in flood risk elsewhere.


Proposals for development located adjacent to the Grantham Canal will need to consider the residual risk in the event of overtopping and/or breaches of the embankment due to culvert collapse or animal burrowing.


For allocated sites in areas at risk of flooding, proposals should demonstrate how site-specific flood risk implications identified in the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment have been addressed.