Moratorium needed on building on flood plains

MP Julian Sturdy’s call for a national debate about planning policy relating to new housing on areas liable to flooding is welcome.   This was exactly the point I made when proposing that the planning committee defer the application for 102 houses on green belt land at Brecks Lane Strensall.

Despite widespread local opposition, development was approved on a currently waterlogged site. The officer report advised that Yorkshire Water said the sewers should connect to existing sewers but ‘from the information supplied it is not possible to tell if the whole scheme will drain by gravity to the network’. However another condition requires that the development should not be raised above adjacent land to prevent runoff affecting existing housing. Conditions also require council approval of the detailed drainage scheme, but no doubt the developer will want to avoid additional costs of non-return valves and/or a pumping station. Neither applicant nor council planner could answer whether recent floods equated to ‘1 in 30’ or ‘1 in 100’ year storms referenced in the planning conditions.

We need a moratorium on any new housing on water-vulnerable locations pending expert analysis of the unprecedented 2014 floods.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne

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