Perhaps as a nod to events over the past 12 months, it has been reported that a number of lobbyists in representation of industry professionals have been fighting for assurances on the creation of new housing legislation to better protect residential homes from future flooding.
As of present, the bill already being passed through the House of Lords will see additional weight placed upon existing drainage and flood defence infrastructure. While it is acknowledged that drainage is one of the primary protectors from flood-related risks, lobbyists have urged for the bill to place restrictions on the right of the developer to simply connect new homes to drainage systems already in place; primarily due to many of these systems already reportedly being overloaded.
As a solution, the notion being put forward is the integration of low-cost, sustainable drainage systems to, instead of adding extra pressure to existing capacity, improve the actual capacity of drainage networks as developments are created. This, of course, would signal a considerable change in notion whereby, historically, new developments have been seen to simply add extra pressures to existing infrastructure.
Historically, this idea had already been considered, as can be seen in the Flood & Water Management Act 2010, yet the law itself was never put into action, instead simply giving planning guidelines for the requirement of sustainable draining systems. Unfortunately, as highlighted by the lobbyists, the guidelines have failed to have any meaningful impact on flood provisions for new developments, as well as simultaneously falling short of its goal to promote the benefits of sustainable drainage systems above and beyond flood defence.
Putting forward the concern that developments are continually adding to the major challenges already being faced by flooding today, David Balmforth, ICE’s former President exclaimed: “This does not have to be the case as there is a proven and low cost solution using SuDs… We urge the Lords to send the Commons a bill that will help protect society from flooding.”