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Planning and development: rivers, lochs and flooding

Some of Scotland’s rivers and lochs are particularly sensitive to impacts arising from new development.

Discharges from septic tanks can threaten the nutrient balance of lochs in some areas.

Rivers that support freshwater pearl mussel, Atlantic salmon and lamprey are sensitive to increases in sediment load. This can arise with the construction of new developments.

New development can also affect the catchment management and flood risk of any river.

What planners and developers must do

Planners and developers should use the advice below to properly consider the interests of some of our most important rivers and lochs:

For all development proposals:

  • planning authorities must consider the risk of flooding in preparing development plans and deciding on planning applications
  • developers must take flood risk into account before committing to a specific site or project

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) leads on water quality issues in Scotland. SEPA gives planning authorities advice on flood risk for planning purposes as well as advice on flood prevention.

Visit the SEPA website to learn about: