This news story asks some pertinent questions of the UK’s flood defence policies

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Having seen the human misery caused by inadequate flood defences earlier this year this article resonated with me as it highlighted the “ticking bomb” certain areas of the country face if this problem is not dealt with head on. I thought the simple suggestions included in the article would make a huge difference to the problems faced and particularly as climate change experts are predicting this to get worse in fairly short order. Surely a national strategy and budget should be set and, as stated, a reversal of the ridiculous decision to cut funding to the Environment Agency be implemented immediately.

Surely if innovative design was to accompany a strategy we would be able to build more houses in areas we otherwise could not contemplate and that must be a good thing given the shortages we currently face.

Steven Barker is chairman of Robinson Low Francis

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Call for better urban design to tackle flooding

Group including TCPA and Friends of the Earth writes to PM

Better urban design and planning is required to tackle flooding in the UK, a group of organisations led by the Town & Country Planning Association and Friends of the Earth have said.

In an open letter prime minister David Cameron to coincide with a government review into the nation’s preparedness for flooding, the Planning and Climate Change Coalition also said there was a link between global climate change and the recent extreme flooding in the UK and called on the government to reverse cuts to the Environment Agency.

Dr Hugh Ellis, TCPA head of policy, said: “In particular, the review should acknowledge the role of good urban design, including along garden city principles, to deal with the challenges of flooding through building resilient high quality, well designed places that provide space for sustainable urban drainage, green infrastructure and enhanced biodiversity without adding cost to development. For example, green roofs can typically absorb around 50 per cent of rooftop runoff.”

Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “David Cameron is clearly well aware that flooding is set to increase drastically with climate change, but his government is sitting on its hands.

“By cutting flood defence investment when it needs to grow to keep pace with our changing climate, the Coalition is putting some 250,000 extra households at flood risk needlessly.

“The prime minister must take responsibility for protecting households from worsening flooding by reversing these cuts - and carry out a serious review of whether the country is prepared for climate change.”