National planning policy framework (NPPF) guidelines strongly recommend against the positioning of developments that are categorised (in this case according to the Environment Agency) as ‘less vulnerable’, in Flood Zone 3b, functional floodplain.
Sir Michael Pitt’s report on the severe and widespread summer floods of 2007 said there should be ‘a presumption against building in high flood risk areas in accordance with PPS25’ [now NPPF] (Pitt Review; ‘Implementation and Delivery Guide, 2008: Final Recommendation 7). The guidance should be ‘kept under review and strengthened if and when necessary’ (Final Recommendation 8).
The title of Sir Michael Pitt’s report is ‘Learning Lessons from the 2007 Floods’. This development is far from being essential and NPPF should be adhered to. To do otherwise would set a very dangerous precedent.