Flood Risk Assessments to support the planning approval of Solar Farms
Unda understands the complexities of preparing flood risk assessments to support planning applications for the development of solar farms. Unda has quickly become one of the UK’s most experienced flood risk consultants in relation to getting planning approval for solar farm developments.
In Unda’s experience the most common concerns raised by the Environment Agency and Local Planning Authority in relation to the Flood Risk Assessment for Solar Farms and Parks are:
- Location of transformer, inverter, substations units etc. within the floodplain
- Location of solar panels within the floodplain
- Fencing and solar panels interrupting conveyance of floodwaters freely across the site
- Safe site access / egress
- Increase in impermeable surfaces
- Location of development within statutory buffer zones for rivers and watercourses
- Land raising / built construction reducing the flood storage capacity of the site
- Potential for increased surface-water runoff and erosion from the site.
When undertaking Flood Risk Assessment for Solar Farms and Parks, Unda’s solution is to:
- Engage and liaise with the statutory authorities (such as the EA and LPA) to ensure the principles and recommendation are appropriate, proportionate to the scale and nature of the development and are compliant with planning policy.
- A partnership with the developer and design team to ensure the services and design are achievable and cost effective.
- Applying the sequential approach to the development of the site (i.e. locating the most vulnerable parts of the development within the lowest risk flood zones)
- Maintaining access / egress outside of high risk flood risk areas where possible, and where this isn’t possible providing robust flood warning and evacuation plans
- Locating key infrastructure above design flood levels
- Developing drainage strategies (where required) to demonstrate that there will be no increase in discharge rate or runoff e.g. swales and infiltration trench provided to intercept flows, create storage, attenuate runoff and promote infiltration across the site
- Proposing grassing/cultivation and re-seeding of ploughed fields to reduce erosion and runoff
- Incorporating flood mitigation so that the solar farm can remain operational and safe in times of flood.
To discuss your development please contact our specialist in Flood Risk Assessments for renewable energy developments Edward Bouët on +44 (0) 1293 214 444
For information on Unda’s full range of flood risk assessments please click here
Areas we cover
Our team have produced Flood Risk Assessment reports for clients across the UK, including Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Hampshire, Kent, Greater London, Oxfordshire and Yorkshire in England as well as Wales and Scotland.