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2938 - 01 - Site Location Plans.jpg
Approved mapping for the residential development in Bowditch, Spalding.



Planning Application for Variation of Planning Condition to allow for an additonal bedroom in an approved development in Spalding submitted.



Following an initial consultation with the client En-Plan: Planing & Architecture formulated and submitted a planning application to South Holland District Council that seeks to vary an approved development by virtue of improved plans that will add an additional bedroom and thereby increase the value of the property and potential rental yield.  The main issue facing En-Plan has been the psotion of the proeprty in Flood Zone 3.

Site Context

Spalding is a market town with a rich history, located in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England. It's situated on the River Welland and is known for a variety of attractions and features.Historically, Spalding was renowned for its annual Flower Parade, which attracted many visitors. The parade celebrated the region's strong li nks to the flower-growing industry. The region around Spalding is a major area for tulip cultivation in the UK. At one time, the bulbs grown in the region were showcased in the aforementioned Flower Parade. In addition to flower cultivation, the area around Spalding has a strong agricultural presence, particularly in the production of vegetables. The proposal is within defined settlement limits and the surrounding area is characterised by dwellings of varying ages and design.

Flooding in Spalding

Spalding, like many towns situated near water bodies, has faced its share of flooding throughout history. Being located along the River Welland in Lincolnshire, it is vulnerable to flooding, particularly if the river breaches its banks.

Here are some key points regarding flooding in and around Spalding:

  1. River Welland: This river has historically been prone to flooding, especially during periods of heavy rain and high tides. Various flood defense measures have been put in place over the years to protect communities, including Spalding, along the river.

  2. Flood Defense: Over the years, there have been investments in flood defenses for Spalding and its surrounding areas. The Environment Agency and local authorities have worked on various projects to reduce flood risk by improving embankments, sluices, and flood walls.

  3. Historic Floods: The area around Spalding has experienced significant floods in history. One notable flood was in 1947, which affected large parts of the Midlands and Eastern England, including Spalding.

  4. Modern Preparations: There's increased awareness of the potential risks of flooding, thanks in part to climate change concerns. As a result, there are now more detailed flood risk maps, and preparations have been made for flood alerts and warnings.

  5. Agricultural Impact: Flooding in this region not only impacts residential areas but also the agricultural lands that are vital for the local economy. Efforts to prevent or minimize flooding are crucial to safeguard the agricultural output of the region.

Flood Management in Spalding

Spalding, being situated near the River Welland, requires effective flood management strategies to safeguard its properties, agricultural lands, and infrastructure. Over the years, the Environment Agency and local authorities have implemented several measures to manage and mitigate the risks of flooding in Spalding and its surrounding areas. Here are some of the measures taken to manage flooding:

  1. Embankments: One of the primary defenses against river flooding is the use of raised embankments or levees along the river's course. These embankments prevent river water from spilling over into adjacent areas during times of high flow.

  2. Flood Walls: In areas where constructing embankments might not be feasible, especially in urban settings, flood walls are erected to provide a barrier against rising water levels.

  3. Sluices and Gates: These structures are used to control the flow of water. By opening or closing sluices, the authorities can manage water levels and prevent potential flooding scenarios.

  4. Dredging: Periodic dredging of the River Welland ensures that silt and other debris do not restrict the flow of the river. A clearer channel allows for more effective water flow and reduces the likelihood of blockages that can contribute to flooding.

  5. Flood Storage Reservoirs: These are areas designated to hold excess water during heavy rainfall or high river levels. They act as temporary storage, preventing large volumes of water from immediately entering the river system and thus reducing flood peaks.

  6. Flood Warning Systems: The Environment Agency operates flood warning systems to alert residents and businesses of impending floods. These warnings provide people with time to take necessary precautions, such as moving valuables to higher ground or even evacuating if necessary.

  7. Flood Risk Maps: The Environment Agency also maintains up-to-date flood risk maps. These maps help local planners make informed decisions about land use and development, ensuring that vulnerable areas are not inappropriately used.

  8. Public Awareness: Public awareness campaigns educate residents about the risks of flooding, what to do in the event of a flood, and how to prepare. Being prepared and knowing how to react can significantly reduce the impact of flooding on properties and individuals.

  9. Planning Restrictions: Local planning authorities might place restrictions on developments in areas prone to flooding, ensuring that any new buildings or infrastructures do not exacerbate the flood risk or are designed to be flood-resilient.


Flood management is an ongoing effort that requires the combination of engineering solutions, effective planning, public awareness, and constant vigilance. As climate patterns evolve and present new challenges, flood management strategies may also need to be regularly reviewed and updated.

South Holland Strategic Flood Risk Asssessment

The South Holland Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) is a document typically produced by the local district council in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the Environment Agency. The purpose of such assessments is to determine the risk and extent of potential flooding in the area, guide planning decisions, and ensure that any future developments are aligned with flood risk management objectives.

Given that the South Holland district, in which Spalding is located, is prone to flood risks due to its proximity to the River Welland and its low-lying geography, the SFRA would likely cover:

  1. Flood Risk Zones: Mapping areas based on their risk of flooding from various sources, including rivers, the sea, surface water, and other sources.

  2. Historical Flooding Data: Information on past flood events, which can offer insights into areas at risk and the nature of floods that can be expected.

  3. Climate Change Impact: Assessing how climate change might influence flood risk in the future.

  4. Development and Planning: Guidelines for planners and developers on how to approach new developments or renovations in the district, considering flood risks. This can include directing certain types of development away from high-risk areas, or requiring specific mitigation measures for developments in those areas.

  5. Emergency Planning: Guidance on how to prepare and respond to flood events to minimize impact and ensure the safety of the community.

  6. Public Awareness: Strategies to raise awareness of flood risks among local residents and businesses, and how they can prepare and respond.

  7. Recommendations: The SFRA would likely provide a set of recommendations for managing and mitigating flood risk in the district.


If you are looking for specific details from the most recent South Holland SFRA or for any updates on flood management strategies, I would recommend checking the South Holland District Council's official website or contacting them directly. As my last update was in September 2021, there might have been newer developments or publications on this topic since then.


Planning Policy in Spalding

Spalding, being in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England, would primarily fall under the local planning policies formulated by the South Holland District Council (SHDC). As of my last update in September 2021, there were several local planning documents and policies that guide development in the area. One of the main documents is the Local Plan.

The South Holland Local Plan would provide the framework for future development in the district, setting out policies and proposals regarding the use of land and buildings in the area, including Spalding. This plan would cover various aspects, such as:

  • Housing development and allocation

  • Employment and economic development

  • Infrastructure requirements (e.g., transport, utilities)

  • Conservation of the natural environment and historic assets

  • Retail, leisure, and other community facilities

  • Flood risk and climate change adaptation


In addition to the Local Plan, there could be Neighbourhood Plans developed by local communities, which provide more detailed guidance on development at a more local level.

It's also worth noting that planning in the UK is hierarchical, which means national policies set out by the UK government also influence local planning decisions. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is the primary national planning document in England, providing a broad framework and setting out the government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.


The Planning Phase


To achieve this En-Plan worked with the Council in order to assit in the Planning assessment of the site. This is a Section 73 application for a two-storey side extension to provide one residential unit at 20A Bowditch Road, Spalding. The proposal will measure 6.2 metres in depth, 6.4 metres in width and seeks to provide a kitchen, utility, bin and bike store at ground floor level. Two bedrooms and an open plan kitchen, dining and living area will be provided at first floor level. The width of passage at ground floor level between 20 Bowditch Road and the proposed dwelling measures 1.3 metres. The proposal differs from the previously approval application under H16-0553-19 as a garage / bin / bike store, utility and entrance space was provided at ground floor level. A bedroom, bathroom and combined kitchen, dining and living area was sited at first floor level. Two off road parking places will be provided adjacent to the proposed dwelling. The submitted Flood Risk Assessment under H16-0553-19 shows no habitable rooms below 2.60 metres above ground level. Materials of construction would be addressed by condition.

The proposal is of the same size as the previous scheme. It provides an acceptable level of amenity for the future occupant and neighbouring properties without an overbearing, overlooking or overshadowing impact. The design is in keeping with that of the adjacent property and surrounding area, and although materials of construction details have not been provided, the submitted plans show a design that would appear to match that of 20 Bowditch Road.

In terms of flood risk, the site is located within Flood Zone 3 of the Environment Agency's Flood Maps. A sequential test therefore needs to be undertaken. The Sequential Test is a decision making tool designed to ensure that areas at little or no risk of flooding are developed in preference to areas of higher risk. Paragraph 158 of the National Planning Policy Framework advises that: "The aim of the Sequential Test is to steer new development to areas with the lowest probability of flooding.

Development should not be allocated or permitted if there are reasonably available sites appropriate for the proposed development in areas with a lower probability of flooding." For development to pass the sequential test it has to be demonstrated that there are no reasonably available alternative sites appropriate for the proposed development located in areas with a lower risk of flooding. The site, as situated, is located within Flood Zone 3 of the Environment Agency's Flood Map for Planning. The latest Agency Flood Maps have been created as a tool to raise awareness of flood risk with the public and partner organisations, such as Local Authorities, Emergency Services and Drainage Authorities. The Maps do not take into account any flood defences.

The South Holland Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2017) is therefore used as a basis to apply the sequential test. In this respect, the site is located within an area identified as "Danger for All". However, it is not possible, consistent with wider sustainability objectives, for all new housing within the district to be delivered within an area of no risk and this is a less severe category. It is considered that there are no reasonably available alternative sites appropriate for the proposed development located in areas with a lower risk of flooding. In this respect, the Authority views reasonably available sites as those that are deliverable and developable (as defined by the NPPF) for the use proposed within the area, can accommodate the general requirements of the
development and are, in principle, in conformity with the objectives and advice within the National Pl
anning Policy Framework and its associated National Planning Practice Guidance relating to sustainable development and flood risk.

If it is not possible to locate the development within an area of lower flood risk, the exceptions test should be applied. The NPPF and the PPG set out two elements to the Exceptions Test. First, proposed development is required to show that it will provide wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh flood risk, and second, that it will be safe for its lifetime without increasing flood risk elsewhere and, where possible, will reduce flood risk overall. This is aimed at allowing necessary development to go ahead in situations where suitable sites at lower risk of flooding are not available whilst helping ensure that flood risk to people and property will be managed satisfactorily.

In terms of the first element, the proposal will provide wider sustainability benefits to the community that outweigh flood risk; that is, the provision of additional housing in a sustainable location within the district. In terms of the latter, the Environment Agency has recommended that the properties be two-storey with no habitable rooms below 2.6 metres above ground level.

Properties with a maximum of three bedrooms are requested to have a minimum of two allocated parking places in accord with Appendix 6 of the SELLP. This proposal accords with Appendix 36 of the adopted local plan and was deemed acceptable by the Planning Department in this respect.

In light of the above considerations the proposal is considered to be in accordance with Policies 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 36 and Appendix 6 of the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan, 2019, as well as Sections 5, 12 and 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework, 2019. A delegated approval was considered to be appropriate.

Further Information


If you would like to find out more about how our Planning Consultancy and Architectural Design Services can work in perfect sync to achieve a successful outcome in the planning system please CONTACT US and we will be only too happy to talk through any questions or development proposals you may have.


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