FRD6 Development in Proximity to Controlled Reservoirs

Closeddate_range16 Oct, 2019, 9:30am - 11 Dec, 2019, 5:00pm

Policy FRD6 Development in Proximity to Controlled Reservoirs

A proposal for new development (other than minor development) within the potential flood inundation area of a controlled reservoir41, as shown on the Strategic Flood Maps, will only be permitted where:

  1. The applicant can demonstrate the condition, management and maintenance regime of the controlled reservoir is appropriate to provide assurance regarding reservoir safety, so as to enable the development to proceed; or
  2. Where assurance on the condition, management and maintenance regime of the relevant reservoir/s is not demonstrated, the application is accompanied by a Flood Risk Assessment, or other analysis, which assesses the downstream flood risk in the event of an uncontrolled release of water due to reservoir failure as being acceptable to enable the development to proceed.

Where the proposal is for the replacement of an existing building and the assurance on the condition, management and maintenance regime of the relevant reservoir/s is not demonstrated, permission will only be granted where the applicant has demonstrated that there is no material increase in the flood risk to the development or elsewhere.

There will be a presumption against development within the potential flood inundation area of a controlled reservoir for proposals that include either:

  1. essential infrastructure (such as emergency services, transport or utilities);
  2. storage of hazardous substances;
  3. bespoke accommodation for vulnerable groups.

Justification and Amplification

There are currently 22 confirmed controlled reservoirs in the Mid and East Antrim Council area (see Appendix I Part C for list).

Water impounding structures such as reservoirs or dams are a recognised source of flood risk because of the potential for downstream flooding which may ensure if the structure fails, is overtopped, or in the event of a controlled release of water from the reservoir. The potential for rapid inundation associated with such events is likely to have serious consequences for people and property in proximity, particularly for vulnerable groups.

New development within the flood inundation area of a controlled reservoir can only be justified where the condition, management and maintenance regime of the reservoir are appropriate to provide assurance regarding reservoir safety. Such assurance must be provided by a ‘suitably qualified engineer’ and supported by DfI Rivers. A ‘suitably qualified engineer’ is a Civil Engineer who at the time of the inspection of the reservoir was a member of a Panel constituted under the Reservoirs Act 1975.

The replacement of a building within a flood inundation area will generally be acceptable as in most cases this ought not to increase the likelihood or the impact of flooding to the building or elsewhere as a result of its replacement.

  • 41 - A Controlled Reservoir is defined by section 1 and 2 of the Reservoirs (Northern Ireland) Act 2015. Generally it is a structure or area that is capable of holding 10,000 cubic metres or more of water above the natural level of any part of the surrounding land.

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