Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland gets tougher rules on building and floods

By Linda Stewart

Building is to be banned near reservoirs unless developers can provide safety assurances, the Environment Minister has announced.

Meanwhile, new planning rules will mean that it will become much harder to build developments in places where there is a history of surface water flooding.

Serious flooding is expected to become more frequent in the future, and the new flood risk planning rules are designed to counter this, minister Mark H Durkan said.

He said the Revised Planning Policy Statement 15 'Planning and Flood Risk', agreed by the Executive Committee, will also introduce improvements to better manage and recover from floods.

"I believe it is important to ensure that the planning system continues to manage new development so as to further reduce the risk of flooding to people and property," he said.

"I also think that developers building near reservoirs should take responsibility for ensuring their safety – making this a planning condition should help create a safer environment."

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