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Information for developers

From 15 April 2015 Norfolk County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) became a statutory consultee on all planning applications for major development. The LLFA is therefore required to comment on these planning applications in respect of surface water drainage. This was previously the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

The changes that made the LLFA a statutory consultee role are detailed in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015). (opens new window)

From 6 April 2015, planning policy and decisions on planning applications relating to major development are required to ensure that sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are used for the management of surface water. The role of decision making on planning applications is the responsibility of Local Planning Authorities (LPAs).

As the LLFA, each year we must report the levels of service in the role as Statutory Consultee to Planning to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

What is major development?

Major development includes any of the following:

  • The winning and working of minerals or the use of land for mineral-working deposits
  • Waste development
  • The provision of dwelling houses where the number of dwelling houses to be provided is 10 or more; or the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the number of dwelling houses to be provided is 10 or more
  • The provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more
  • Development carried out on a site having an area of one hectare or more

LLFA Paid Advice Service

We recommend that developers/consultants/applicants familiarise themselves with our LLFA guidance document on sustainable drainage systems before submitting a planning application. A link to an accessible version of this can be found in the section below.

Bespoke LLFA advice is offered on a chargeable basis at the rates outlined in the lines below. This advice service is open for applicants/consultants at any time before or during the formal planning process, including when the LLFA team are not reviewing submitted planning information as a statutory consultee to planning.

  • Site specific risk assessment: £87 (including VAT)
  • 10 - 99 houses or low flood risk or 1 hectare: £261 (including VAT)
  • 100 - 250 houses or medium flood risk or 2 hectares: £522 (including VAT)
  • 250+ houses or significant flood risk or 3+ hectares: £1044 (including VAT)
  • Masterplanning: From £1044 (including VAT)

If you are unsure of the risk banding you can search on the GOV.UK website.

Read our terms and conditions

If you are interested in applying for LLFA Advice, please contact us at

Land drainage consent for work on ordinary watercourses

How to apply for consent for work on ordinary watercourses and how much it costs.

Public highway surface water drainage design

Information on highway surface water drainage design standards.

How to find a consultant

There are several Chartered Institutes and organisations who maintain lists or searchable directories of professional qualified consultants who can provide flooding, drainage and other environmental services to support planning applications.

A chartered civil engineer (qualified through the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE)) would also be professionally qualified to undertake various assessments, however a searchable list of companies who employ chartered civil engineers isn't available.

Other local companies are also available however we don't maintain a list of these.

Environment Agency documents

These documents are provided by the Environment Agency:

Guidance on Norfolk County Council's Lead local flood authority role as statutory consultee to planning, updated April 2024

Important note: It is acknowledged that there should be a reasonable transition period for the LLFA to start reviewing applications against the new guidance and for Applicants to adapt to it.

For new consultations from LPAs, the date from which the LLFA will expect the supporting information to be in-line with the updated guidance is from 1st August 2024.

If you would like to request a copy of the document in its original format, please email and we will be happy to provide a pdf copy.