Environmental & Planning Policy must be joined up

Cameron must rethink planning to prevent flooding

A group of experts led by the Landscape Institute have written to David Cameron warning that the Government must not risk future flood prevention by focusing on short-term problems. The experts are calling for planners to adopt a series of measures aimed at tackling the risk of flooding, including measures like planting trees, requiring that all new developments in towns and cities should include flood alleviation and protection measures, and that any new homes built on flood plains must be resilient to flooding. Sue Illman, president of the Landscape Institute, said: “We want the money that is going to be invested spent wisely to give us a proper outcome.” The Guardian reports that dredging of two major rivers feeding the Somerset Levels is due to begin in the next few weeks.

The LGiU produced the above (edited by me) today but that is only part of the story. Fundamentally, the UK problem is that Planning is seen as a predominately economic matter with environmental consequences being very much a secondary consideration. Such has been the case for generations and Governments of all colours have failed to act to bring true harmony between environmental and planning policy making.

The issue has not been highlighted by flooding so much in Sefton, although concern about the potential for flooding was a major consideration in the minds of Formby residents when they recently rose up to fight a new housing development off Liverpool Road. The elephant in the room, or should I say both elephants, are flooding and building on high grade agricultural land. Both are high end public concerns that most Westminster politicians seem to be oblivious of.

Environmental sustainability has to lead the Planning agenda

If Westminster is going to act to curb building in ways that cause flooding they also need to act at the same time to curb building on high grade agricultural land. Environmental sustainability has to be the primary aim with economic growth, important though that is, taking second place.

Flooding – We knew it was bad but………………..

UK reaches global top ten for flood risk

The UK is among the top 10 countries in the world at greatest economic risk from flooding. It is ranked seventh highest globally for its economic exposure to flooding – behind the US, China, India, Bangladesh, Germany and Japan, according to risk analysis company Maplecroft. The latest index put the UK 42nd most at risk for physical exposure to flooding. But its high population density and the proximity of property and infrastructure to flood zones means its non-agricultural economic exposure is the seventh highest. However, despite the high risk, the UK was also one of the best placed countries to weather any problems because of its spending power and robust infrastructure.

Financial Times, Page: 3 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 4 Daily Express, Page: 6 (all today)

With thanks to the LGiU for this information.