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Shropshire Council Planning Guidance

Shropshire Council planning policy for sustainable drainage reports, flood risk assessments and contaminated land risk assessment are driven by environmental conditions and the local authority policy.
Guidance for architects, and developers on flood risk, drainage and phase 1 contaminated land reports is summarised below with links to the key summary documents.

Shropshire Council Contaminated Land

Until the 18th Century, Shropshire was an agricultural county particularly famous for sheep. However, the development of the mining and iron industry in the north of the area lead to dramatic changes in the locality. In the rural areas the agricultural industry has been subject to well-documented changes resulting in progressive loss of employment. More recently the economy of the area has been more service industry dominated but the area has an extensive rural hinterland with agriculture still the principal land use.

Quarrying and mining have been part of the culture and landscape of Shropshire for centuries. Away from the urban centres historically brick and tile works, sawmills, smithies and quarries were established.

In view of Shropshire’s industrial heritage, the main areas of concern within Shropshire are connected with the following:

  • Landfill Sites (closed and open)
  • Mining of Coal and other minerals
  • Aircraft and military camps
  • Refuelling Tanks
  • Railway infrastructure and supporting industries
  • Agricultural waste (foot and mouth pits)
  • Industrial Estates
  • Scrap Yards/Foundries
  • Tanneries
  • Gas Holding Stations/former town gas works
  • Former Timber Yards

Where a developer is proposing to develop land that may be contaminated, it is advisable to contact the Council to discuss land contamination issues before submitting a planning application. Advice will be given on what should be submitted with a planning application and this consultation should prevent time delays and misunderstandings at a later stage in the development.

The Site Investigation Procedure

The site investigation procedure will identify the potential for contamination and identify possible areas that may require remedial works in order to make the site ‘suitable for use’. The investigation can be split into three phases, although not every site will require each phase to be carried out. This allows resources to be targeted at the areas that are most likely to be contaminated. The phases may be submitted individually as separate reports or as one combined report.

Phase I – Desktop Study

The desktop study is the collection of information in order that the ‘conceptual site model’ can be established. This model considers all potential contaminant sources, pathways and receptors, defined as pollutant linkages. The study should document the site history and identify all potentially contaminative land uses back to when the site was ‘greenfield’. The conclusions of the report should contain recommendations for any progression to Phase II, if required.

Please see the contaminated land strategy below for details of the further site investigation stages.

Site Walkover Reconnaissance

A Desktop Study should include an appraisal of a site walkover survey.

Guidance for Contaminated Land

Shropshire Council


Shropshire Council Flood Risk Assessment

Parts of Shropshire are at risk from the following sources; fluvial, surface water, groundwater, sewers, reservoir inundation, canal overtopping / breaches. The most significant sources of flood risk in Shropshire are fluvial and surface water.

  • Fluvial flooding: The primary fluvial flood risk is along the River Severn and its tributaries. These present fluvial flood risk to rural communities as well as to the main urban centres in Shropshire. The floodplain of the Severn is extensive through Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth (Low Town), with less extensive floodplains in the north-west and south of the County, where higher ground constrains the river.
  • Surface water: The Risk of Flooding from Surface Water map shows a number of prominent overland flow routes; these predominantly follow topographical flow paths of existing watercourses or dry valleys with some isolated ponding located in low lying areas. There are notable areas of risk driven by the topography e.g. at the bottom of hills in the south of the County.
  • Sewer: The majority of sewers in Shropshire are managed by Severn Trent Water with Welsh Water and United Utilities managing sewers in some areas. The combined DG5 registers of recorded historical sewer flooding was supplied and indicates a total of 347 recorded incidences of sewer flooding in Shropshire from 1990 (Severn Trent record) and 1999 (Welsh Water record). The settlements with the most recorded incidents include Shrewsbury, Ludlow, St Martins, Whitchurch and Church Stretton.
  • Groundwater: The Areas Susceptible to Groundwater Flooding map shows that in general, the south of Shropshire is within the <25% susceptible classification, therefore is at a lower risk of groundwater flooding. Parts of the north of Shropshire fall within higher susceptibility classifications and are therefore at higher risk from groundwater flooding.
  • Canals: There are three canals in Shropshire the Llangollen Canal, the Montgomery Canal, and the Shropshire Union Canal. These have the potential to interact with other watercourses and become flow paths during flood events or in a breach scenario. There has been one recent incident of overtopping in Shropshire, in 2014 on the Llangollen Canal near Fenn’s Moss in north Shropshire.
  • Reservoirs: There is a potential risk of flooding from reservoirs both within the County and those outside, such as Llyn (Lake) Clywedog and Llyn Vyrnwy in Wales. There are no records of flooding from reservoirs in the study area. The level and standard of inspection and maintenance required under the Reservoirs Act means that the risk of flooding from reservoirs is relatively low. However; there is a residual risk of a reservoir breach and this risk should be considered in any site-specific Flood Risk Assessments (where relevant).

Site-specific Flood Risk Assessments

Developers should, where required, undertake more detailed hydrological and hydraulic assessments of the watercourses to verify flood extent (including latest climate change allowances), inform development zoning within the site and prove, if required, whether the Exception Test can be passed. Developers should include an assessment of the residual risk where developments are located in areas benefitting from defences. They should consider both the impact of breach, including the effect on safe access and egress, as well as potential for flood risk to increase in the future due to overtopping, particularly with climate change increases on peak flows. Any improvements to defences should ensure they are in keeping with wider catchment policy.

The assessment should also identify the risk of existing flooding to adjacent land and properties to establish whether there is a requirement to secure land to implement strategic flood risk management measures to alleviate existing and future flood risk.

Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

Shropshire Council


Powys County Council Sustainable Drainage SuDs

Developers and planning applicants will clearly demonstrate that proposals include the appropriate means for the management of surface water and flood risk within proposed development sites. This will also include the correct level of detail is submitted in order for a planning application to be considered valid. Developers are required to submit, alongside their planning application, either:

  • a Flood Risk Assessment (using the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for guidance) and a Surface Water Management Plan
  • a Surface Water Management Plan
  • a Surface Water Management Statement

Surface Water Drainage Guidance

Shropshire Council


Shropshire Council Groundwater Flood Risk

The Areas Susceptible to Groundwater Flooding map shows that in general, the south of Shropshire is within the <25% susceptible classification, therefore is at a lower risk of groundwater flooding. Parts of the north of Shropshire fall within higher susceptibility classifications and are therefore at higher risk from groundwater flooding.

For further advice please contact us