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The charity making life better by water

Compiling your evidence base

If you're preparing a plan you'll also need to be collecting evidence to inform your policies. Here are some things to think about when you're compiling your evidence base.

Infrastructure delivery plan

Please contact us for advice about the waterway infrastructure we have in your area. It may offer a range of opportunities to support your vision. There may also be constraints that need to be mitigated. Both of these may need to be taken into account in your infrastructure delivery plan.

Strategic flood risk assessment

Flood damage

NPPG advises that "for the purposes of applying the National Planning Policy Framework, 'flood risk' is a combination of the probability and the potential consequences of flooding from all sources – including from rivers and the sea, directly from rainfall on the ground surface and rising groundwater, overwhelmed sewers and drainage systems, and from reservoirs, canals and lakes and other artificial sources".

As well as our canal network, we take care of 77 reservoirs. These are used or have historically been used to supply water to the canals.

NPPG provides advice on which bodies the LPA should seek advice from when preparing Local Plans. This includes:

Reservoir undertakers: local planning authorities should discuss their proposed site allocations with reservoir undertakers to:

  • avoid an intensification of development within areas at risk from reservoir failure
  • ensure reservoir undertakers can assess the cost implications of any reservoir safety improvements needed due to changes in land use downstream of their assets

Navigation authorities should be consulted by the local planning authority concerning sites adjacent to, or which discharge into, canals – especially where these are impounded above natural ground level.

While NPPG does not specifically recommend consultation with us in the preparation of an SFRA, we're happy to help with evidence where we can.

Urban cooling

The University of Manchester has conducted research for us into the effect of Urban Cooling from the Rochdale Canal on Manchester City Centre. It concludes that there is a notable cooling effect from the canal. Similar benefits are likely to apply in other urban centres with canals. We would be happy to discuss whether there are opportunities to test this as part of developing an evidence base for plans.

Housing choice

The Housing & Planning Act 2016 (section 124) introduced a requirement for housing authorities to "consider the needs of people residing in or resorting to their district with respect to the provision of places on inland waterways where houseboats can be moored". Draft CLG guidance on this new duty notes the need to consider the role of planning in making the necessary provision. It is for local authorities to fulfil this duty. We'll be happy to help where we can.

Strategic housing land availability assessment (SHLAA)

Our network, while providing opportunities for place-making also has some inherent constraints. The presence of embankments, cuttings, reservoirs and potentially other associated infrastructure may affect the amount of development that may be possible on a site. We therefore recommend you contact us on SHLAAs where sites are proposed adjacent or close to our assets.

Please also refer to our Permission in Principle section.

Last Edited: 19 November 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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