Future developments in Wales will have to take into account the risks caused by climate change, such as flooding and coastal erosion, in what is believed to be a UK first.
Flood risk and coastal erosion maps have been made available for developers that show current risk levels as well as the risks posed by climate change.
The new planning policy advice, known as Technical Advice Note 15 (TAN 15), will inform future local development plans and decisions on planning applications in areas at risk of flooding and coastal erosion.
It makes it clear that new developments of homes, the emergency services, schools and hospitals must not be located in areas of high flood risk without strong flood defences.
For all development in areas of low risk and those protected by strong flood defences and for less vulnerable developments in areas at high risk of flooding, securing planning permission will be dependent on passing the acceptability tests in TAN15.
The new TAN 15 and Flood Map for Planning is now available for planning authorities and developers to prepare for them coming into force on 1st December 2021, when all planning applications awaiting a decision and all new planning applications will be assessed against the new advice and map.
Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “Flood risk and coastal erosion in Wales is increasing as a result of climate change. Serious flooding events are becoming more frequent and some areas currently at little risk will become vulnerable to flooding as our climate continues to change.
“As the National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in Wales recognises, the planning system can help communities be more resilient to the effects of climate change by locating development in areas away from risk of flooding.
“Improved knowledge of the places which will be at risk in the future can help keep people safe, by preventing the damage and disruption to homes, workplaces and infrastructure that flooding can cause.”