New development should be directed to areas at the lowest risk of flooding. Inappropriate development in flood risk areas should be avoided, to limit risk to people and property. It also means that new development should not make existing flood risk worse and should reduce existing overall flood risk where possible. It is therefore important that information about flood risk is available to planning applicants and developers from early on in the planning process.
What is an SFRA?
The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) provides an overview of all sources of flood risk throughout Wokingham Borough. This includes rivers, surface water, groundwater, large reservoirs/lakes and sewers. The SFRA builds upon existing Council knowledge of flood risk within the Borough and that sourced through consultation with the Environment Agency, Thames Water and local Town and Parish Councils. This information is shown on several maps which form part of the SFRA.
The SFRA informs the preparation of the Local Development Framework and gives essential information for the allocation of land for development. The SFRA also helps to inform future planning decisions, including those made on planning applications.
The approach to the assessment follows the Government guidelines set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and the accompanying Techical Guidance and has been carried out with the support of the Environment Agency.
The SFRA will inform the 'Sequential Test' required by the NPPF, which requires all proposed development to undergo assessment to determine the suitability of land for development in flood risk areas.
This is the Council’s second published SFRA. It updates the SFRA published in July 2007.
SFRA is a 'living' document
The SFRA is a ‘living’ document. The SFRA 2012 takes account of the latest flood risk information and any updates to policy and guidance since the previous SFRA (July 2007). The latest SFRA includes individual flood risk analysis of suggested development sites in Wokingham Borough for consideration in the Local Development Framework, based on the data available – see appendix D and maps 7.0 to 7.17.
Extensive detailed modelling, produced by the Environment Agency, has been carried out for the rivers in Wokingham Borough. Since the previous SFRA, the key information which has become available is the updated flood zones based on recent modelling of the River Blackwater and River Loddon. In addition, a significant increase of information has occurred for surface water flood risk, with the release of the Environment Agency surface water modelling maps. Compared to river flooding this field of work is still in its early stages but the results produced so far have provided a useful indication of likely areas at risk.
Individual Flood Risk Assessments for new development must be based on the best available and most up to date information.
Get a copy of the SFRA
An electronic copy of the SFRA is attached at the bottom of this page. Alternatively a paper copy can be purchased on request from the Land Use and Transport Team. Call 0118 974 6478 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to read the SFRA
Due to the size of the SFRA, the text and figures within the document have been attached separately for ease of viewing.
Please note that Figures 7.1 to 7.17 show Flood 'Character Areas' which show a 'zoomed in' perspective of the areas described. A Character Area Key Plan can be found in Figure 7.0.