There Will be Flood…

We are constantly told that there is a housing shortage. We know the population of the country continues to increase and people need places to live. As a result, new homes will always be needed.

But where to build them?

Developments in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are restricted as are those that fall within Green Belt land. Town and cities are filling up and this will only lead to increased pressure on areas which, in light of recent events, many would no doubt view as entirely unsuitable to new housing developments.

Anyone who lived through the incessant rain that swept in with Storm Desmond on the first weekend of December last year will struggle to ever forget it. The Tyne Valley was particularly badly hit with high water levels recorded in Hexham and homes on Station Road in Corbridge flooded and residents evacuated. Floods of this type are devastating and leave in their wake damage that can take months and years to rectify. Repairs and restitution take place within sight of that self same river that continues to flow and continues to carry the same silent threat of breaking its banks again at some point in the future.

After every flood, government ministers and Environment Agency spokesmen trot out the same old lines about how more will be done, flood defences will be enhanced and this should never happen again. And yet it always does.

Would anyone choose to live on a flood plain?

Bearing all this in mind, building houses on a flood plain would be madness, wouldn’t it? It is ironic that flood plains, in at least one sense, lend themselves well to new developments. They are flat and level areas and require little predevelopment landscaping as a result. But this, of course, doesn’t outweigh the attendant dangers involved in building in these areas.

Despite these dangers, in January, Lord Krebs, the government’s global warming adviser, said that new developments should be built on flood plains provided that the risks from flooding are made clear to potential purchasers.

Are we so full as a country that we have no choice but to build on flood plains? Perhaps not – yet. But if the population continues to grow developers may have no choice but to built on less than suitable land and potential buyers may have no choice but to buy the houses built there.

Who knows, maybe in the future a workable and permanent solution to the problems caused by flooding can be found. In the meantime, if you have a new build or extension plan in mind, do give us a call on 0800 3118 321 and we’ll be happy to discuss your plans with you.