Just been listening to this Sunday morning's TV prog the Andrew Marr Show, one item got my interest. That of housebuilding and the present Yorkshire floods. It is a fact that floods mainly tend to happen in low-lying areas, such as floodplains of river systems. We don't have to be clever to figure that one out.
So, the point about government being slow to react and the failures to build adequate flood defences although fair on the face of it, it must be understood that planning is the remit of local councils. It is they that approve or disapprove planning applications. It is funny how things get interpreted in discussions, local as well as national. It is funny because in the main the councils in question are mainly run by Labour! Even so, whatever council it is the practice of building on floodplains needs seriously looking at. The demography of Britain is changing and changing fast. More single people, with and without children, the dispersal of people from the London/Kent conurbations (the great westward and northward migration) all have begun to impact on local governments. As I have mentioned before looking at the largest city in South Wales, Cardiff, having begun a massive house building programme encompassing the farms to the west and north-west. This is not a flooding area but it shows the westward migration from England as local demand is not particularly high. Again, I must say that planning in this country and most likely in other places and countries as well, tend to be done via LDP's (Local Development Plans) but are there sufficient searches made as to suitability of the land, the needed upgrading of the infrastructure; doctor's, dentists, shops, roads in and out, sewerage and more. Sewerage is still of the Victorian era and has great difficulty in accommodating the demands now put on it. It is really high time to look at our country, how we want to use land, and how we need to be ready to accommodate the expected 80 million inhabitants!