Parliament to probe planning and flooding
MPs have confirmed that planning issues will be central to the inquiry announced last week by the Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee into future flood prevention in England. This investigation follows severe flooding earlier this winter.
The committee noted that flooding had affected many communities across the UK, costing more than £5bn and disrupting thousands of peoples’ lives and businesses. Record rainfall was recorded in some areas and the consequent floods overwhelmed defences.
Among the topics the committee wants to concentrate on are issues to do with the efficacy and accuracy of Environment Agency and Met Office models that predict rainfall patterns and flood risk.
Also under scrutiny will be infrastructure policy: How adequately do defences protect communities and agricultural land from floods and do current funding arrangements target spending in the right way?
In respect of planning the MPs have made it clear they want to investigate how well planning policies ensure new buildings are not put in areas of high flood risk or where they would increase risk to others.
Also on the agenda is how well new developments are incorporating sustainable drainage and flood-resilient buildings.
As part of this inquiry MPs will also look at flood insurance as the new Flood Re scheme is due to come into operation in April.