We were present to witness Essex County Council Highways representative, holding his hands up in apology for his agency’s failure to carry out adequate drainage clearance, leading up to the Canvey Island flooding during the summer of 2014.
He made a promise, in public during the Castle Point Council Scrutiny meeting into the causes of the 2014 floods, that this would not happen again and that regular maintenance would be carried out so as to prevent a repetition of the Surface Water Flooding that so many residents suffered.
Canvey residents are now seeing that words are cheap, and the results of the continued lack of ECC Regular Drainage Maintenance allowing drains and road gullies to become silted up. The previous regime of maintenance, in which operatives will attend if residents make repeated calls for action, appears to remain the norm!
This is asking for trouble on a basically flat Island with a “complicated” drainage system reliant on gravity to feed water to the pumping system.
Climate Change deniers amongst those in positions within local authorities, are blind to the changing weather patterns and rising sea levels. They abstain from making difficult decisions on the Distribution of Housing Growth, and delay from investing adequate resources in Flood Defences, compare Dutch standards with our own.
Human nature directs them to rely on the chances of a Flooding Event occurring is less likely than, more likely. A Carry on Building Regardless policy, with increasing population being put at Risk!
And yet these local decision-makers should know full well that the insurance umbrella by the name of FLOOD Re, will NOT cover dwellings built since January 2009!
FLOOD Re representatives explained that their product was not intended to encourage development within Flood Risk areas, quite the opposite, it was intended to encourage more sensible and safer development site selection.
“Historical data shows that the proportion of residential properties located in an area previously subject to a flood event was on average 5% per local authority in England and Wales.
The question is: why, when most experts agree that the number of severe weather incidents is only likely to increase as a result of climate change?”
Unfortunately Local Plan Policies drawn up by Castle Point Council prefer much, much higher percentages than 5% when selecting sites for their Housing Growth Distribution!
Emanuela Barbiroglio writes in her article “The Rising Tide of Flood Risk” for Property Week;
Councils also receive advice from the Environment Agency, which comments on all proposals for major development in areas at medium or high risk of flooding. It says that with the majority of such planning applications its advice is taken on board.
And yet we should all be aware that Castle Point Borough Council have come to an arrangement with the Environment Agency where Canvey Island is considered a “Special Case” where development in a Flood Zone 3 is concerned!
The Environment Agency leave CPBC to take the final decision on concerns over Tidal and Surface Water Flood Risk, and Residents Safety and well being, and the development’s safety are concerned!
Emanuela Barbiroglio’s enlightening article, “The Rising Tide of Flood Risk” can be found via this LINK.
The Canvey Multi Agency dedicated Flood web site can be found via this LINK, although much appears stuck in 2015!