15 - Climate Change

15.1 Adaptation is an essential part of addressing the impacts and opportunities created by our changing climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines adaptation as "adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities". There is a statutory duty on local planning authorities to include policies in their local plan designed to tackle climate change and its impacts. These can range from policies that reduce the need to travel, flood risk and coastal change, sustainable construction and design and renewable low carbon technologies. Local plans can also address appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures to combat climate change.

Fluvial and Tidal Flooding

15.2 Flooding has become a significant issue and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from areas at highest risk, but without increasing the risk of flooding elsewhere. This is known as the 'Sequential Test' and is accompanied by an 'Exception Test' to be applied where necessary. Any development that takes place in an area at risk of flooding must incorporate appropriate flood resilient and resistant measures (in line with paragraph 103 of the NPPF). The Strategic Flood Risk Assessment sets out other generic mitigation measures that could be applied to developments in flood risk zones such as ensuring sleeping accommodation of residential development is above ground floor level.  Other measures could include those that prevent or limit the amount of water entering the property, flood resilient building techniques such as the siting of electrical controls at higher levels, raising floor levels and the use of sustainable drainage systems and flood barriers.  

15.3 Thanet has few areas of low lying land that are at risk of flooding from the sea. The two primary sources of flooding in the district are fluvial and tidal; fluvial flooding from the Wantsum Channel, and tidal flooding from extreme tide levels. The majority of development proposed in this Plan has been directed away from the identified Flood Risk Areas.

15.4 The densely populated Old Town area of Margate falls within an area of low lying land. The financial cost of damage to property in the Old Town area resulting from a major flooding event could be as much as £70m. Such a flooding event could also put the safety of residents and the public at risk. Recent flood defence works have significantly reduced this risk. The Council's flood risk assessment presents advice and recommendations on the implications of flood risk and climate change. Site specific Flood Risk Assessments may be required for developments within identified areas at risk from flooding.

15.5 Areas at risk of flooding are shown on the flood maps on the Environment Agency's website and are updated regularly - www.environment-agency.gov.uk. These should be referred to when considering development in areas at risk from flooding as these are regularly updated.

The following policy seeks to ensure that development is not put at risk by flooding.

Policy CC01 - Fluvial and Tidal Flooding

Development will not usually be appropriate in areas falling within the identified Environment Agency's flood Zones 2 and 3.

Where there is no alternative to developing in an area identified as being at risk of flooding (Zones 2 and 3), the sequential test and exception test as set out in the NPPF will be applied. Development proposals in these areas will need a Flood Risk Assessment to be carried out by the developer.

Any development that takes place in a flood risk area will be expected to incorporate flood resilient measures.