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Planning constraints

Article 4 Directions, Flood Risk & Contaminated Land

Article 4 Direction

Some minor changes to buildings and land can be made without needing to apply for planning permission, as long as certain criteria are followed.

These rights are called "permitted development rights" and are granted by virtue of Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

When the Council feels it is necessary to place tighter planning controls over a particular area, property or site, it has the power to withdraw permitted development rights by issuing an Article 4 Direction.

This means that a planning application will have to be submitted for minor work, which may not normally require it, had the direction not been issued.


Flood Risk

Flooding is a natural process that plays an important role in shaping the natural environment.

There are many possible sources of flooding:

  • from rivers and the sea
  • directly from rainfall
  • rising groundwater
  • overwhelmed sewers and drainage systems.

Flooding can threaten life and cause substantial damage to property.

Whilst flooding cannot be prevented, the risk from it can be minimised.

It is for this reason, that all forms of flooding and their impact on the natural and built environment are material planning considerations in the planning process.

The Environment Agency is the lead authority for flood risk information in England and Wales.

It has mapped the areas which could be affected by flooding from rivers and the sea.

These are called Flood Zones (Zone 1= low; Zone 2= medium; Zone 3a= high; Zone 3b= functional floodplain) and reflect the probability of flooding affecting the land.


Flood Risk Assessment (FRA)

An appropriate Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) will be required to accompany a planning application to show how risk from all sources of flooding to the development itself and flooding to others will be managed now, taking into account climate change.

An FRA will be required for:

  • Development proposals on land of 1 hectare or more in Flood Zone 1
  • All proposals for new development located in Flood Zones 2 and 3

FRAs should be prepared by the developer, in consultation with the Council.

See Local Guidance:  South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

See National Guidance:  National Planning Policy Framework


Contaminated Land

Some sites, particularly those used for industrial processes, may be affected by contamination.

This may include soils contaminated by chemicals; migration of contaminants to ground and surface waters; and production of hazardous gases.

The appropriate assessment of the risks posed by potentially contaminated sites and the subsequent provisions for agreed remediation and validation is an integral part of the planning process. This will include generating and enforcing appropriate planning conditions relating to contamination in any permission.

Basildon Council will also consult and have regard to comments made by other statutory bodies, principally the Environment Agency . The Agency has many regulatory powers relating to the protection of ground and surface waters. They are also primary consultee for Local Authorities when determining sites as contaminated land under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Basildon Council is a member of the Essex Land Consortium (ELC), together with all other Essex Local Authorities, Essex County Council and the Environment Agency. The ELC have produced specific guidance to provide planning agents, developers and other applicants with details of the type and extent of investigations and decontamination schemes required by the Council for these sites.

See Local Guidance:  Pollution Control - Contaminated Land

See National Guidance:  National Planning Policy Framework 

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