New housing developments that contribute to the risk of flooding are still being built, MPs say. House builders are supposed to create housing schemes that catch water with features like green roofs and porous road surfaces.
The government has frequently said it's committed to reducing flood risk. But the Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) committee says rules on drainage for new homes are still weak and poorly enforced.
The MPs say this has to change, because the government's commitment of a million new homes by 2020 must be achieved without an increase in flood risk.
The idea of catching water where it falls has shot up the policy agenda following heavy flooding in recent years.
In house-building it's known as Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) in which developers create features like ponds and grassy hollows, which catch heavy rains and provide the spin-off benefit of wildlife habitats.
The MPs say ministers have espoused SuDS in principle - but have failed to put policy in place to deliver results.
That means far too few sustainable drainage schemes have been installed, and those that do exist don't provide all the potential benefits of flood-prevention, wildlife enhancement, and nicer surroundings for people.
said: "The government purports to support SuDS but has not set up a robust policy framework to promote their use. "Instead it has adopted sub-standard planning policies which have led to far too few schemes, many of which are of low quality. Significant improvements must be delivered."
The committee wants house builders to lose the automatic right to connect to the sewers.
The environment department Defra says it is constrained from commenting by rules on election purdah - but it has been under pressure from house builders to avoid what they say are potentially onerous conditions that would be impractical and increase costs.
But Mr Parish said: "Guidance must be tightened to reduce significantly the potential for developers to opt out from installing schemes on cost or site-practicality grounds."
Over recent years several trial schemes have claimed a reduction in flood risk by innovative low-tech measures. In Llanelli, for instance, a school has gouged a dip out of its playing fields which catches excess water during a downpour.
The committee wants to see much more of this sort of thing. The debate is part of a wider discussion on how water can be captured where it falls. Looking to the post-Brexit era, ministers are considering how to incentivise more farmers to store water on their land. A pioneer scheme at Pickering in Yorkshire is still being appraised.
HRH THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER TO ATTEND FLOODEX UK ON 17TH MAY
We are honoured to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester on Wed 17th May to Floodex UK. His Royal Highness will look forward to meeting exhibitors and attendees, to discuss all matters related to drainage, water level management and flood risk management.
FLOODEX LAUNCHES NEW HEALTH & SAFETY AWARENESS TRAINING WORKSHOP
In response to the Internal Drainage Board requests, there will be a special, free to attand programe, covering health and safety awareness training. These sessions will be delivered by two eminently capable professionals.
FLOODEX UK SHOW GUIDE FOR EXHIBITORS & PRESENTATIONS
WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT?
You'll be able to engage with experts and consultants, harvesting advice on what your could and should be doing.
Network with your peers, find out what their plans are and share ideas. There's a lovely quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw: If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples, we still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange ideas, we each have two ideas.
Talk to the people and organizations on the exhibition stands, who can help you deliver your planned solutions with the latest equipment, technology, services and knowledge.
You'll be able to talk to a wide rang of suppliers and expert advisers that would normally take you months to get around, trade shows are the most productive use of your time. Especially if you are thinking of changing or looking for a new supplier.
It's one or two days out of your year that could continue to pay dividends for months and even years to come, whilst making you more effective, efficient and possibly even save you money.
Visitor registration will be live nearer the time.
Entry includes FREE access to all the CPD accredited seminars.
Wednesday 17th May - 9am - 5pm
Thursday 18th May - 9am - 4pm
Click here for tavel details and directions.
WHO SHOULD VISIT?
If you work in any of these areas where you may have to consider the effects of flooding now, or in the future, there are many benefits to attending Floodex.
- Local Authority
- Property Development
- Civil or Structural engineering
- Contractor / Construction
- Facility management
- Estate management
- National Agency
- Water Authority
- Business & Industry
- Central Government
- Non-Government/Membership Organisation