Appeal decision on relocation of flood risk areas


On 20 October 2022, PINS allowed the appeal in Parkfield House-Fortescue House, Bicester (REF APP/C3105/W/21/3287556) granting planning permission to Churchill Retirement Living for 38 retirement living apartments in St John’s Street, Bicester. It was a decision taken under the revised Flood Risk PPG. One of the key issues between the parties was flood risk. As the site currently stands, areas of the proposed car park would be in what is currently Flood Zone 3b, with the possibility of one of the areas of the residential building being in Flood Zone 3b. The appellant proposed to relocate these areas, adding additional flood storage, such that both the building and car park would be beyond these areas. The Environment Agency took an in principle objection to that approach, suggesting simply that the Local Plan, NPPF and PPG prevented the siting of buildings and car parks in what is currently Flood Zone 3b, regardless of any future works. The inspector nevertheless allowed the appeal, considering that while there might be a relatively small area of the site in Flood Zone 3b, with some conflict with the local plan and PPG, the proposed development would function effectively and safely when completed, was appropriately located and designed, and therefore accorded with several aspects of both the local plan and underpinning guidance of the NPPF and PPG. Nick Grant appeared for the Appellant, instructed by Matt Shellum at Planning Issues Ltd.

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