Lewes Forum thread

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Building on flood plains

On 7 Feb 2014 at 9:26am Clifford wrote:
Here's an interesting thought: 'In Norway and France, if a planner or mayor gives permission to develop in the flood plain then (if anything goes wrong) they are held liable and may go to prison.'

And: 'A legal precedent was set by Ryeford Homes v Sevenoaks district council (1990) where a claim was made against the planning authority in respect of flooding caused by allowing over-development.'
On 7 Feb 2014 at 10:10am Knoxon Cutts wrote:
What?!?! Hold officials responsible for their actions? Where would it end? The mill/bill/trill-ionaire Blair could be indicted for the lies he told to start the Iraq war.The banks would be prosecuted for destroying the economy. Oh no,that could lead to the end of civilisation as we know it,sorry mate.
On 7 Feb 2014 at 11:40am wet and soggy wrote:
Our Planners are inept, and our Councillors are inept at challenging or even questioning their bad advice and proposals. The proof of my claim being that you only have to look at the area around Tescos which within a few decades has become an unhealthy and common sense defying mix of tarmac, industrial sites and domestic housing all built on a flood plain that floods.
On 7 Feb 2014 at 3:59pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Not saying that buildings should be built in the floodplain, but it is too easy to knock planners and Councillors when they have to turn to the 'experts' at the Environment Agency who ultimately decide if a scheme can or cannot go ahead in a floodplain. FYI many councillors have been vocal about certain developments, myself included.
Most of our housing problems go back to the right to buy and not allowing councils to build council houses with the proceeds. This has resulted in many suspect (in floodplain) greedy developments and a shortage of council houses.
On 7 Feb 2014 at 4:06pm belladonna wrote:
It's not just about building on flood plains though, is it ? It's also about land and river and farm management. We suffer more now because of a combination of policies that have been made over decades by the EU, the EA and successive governments, quangos, planning agencies etc. There's a very good article in the grauniad about these issues - see here.

Check it out here »
On 7 Feb 2014 at 4:51pm The Old Mayor wrote:
Bottom line is why do people actually buy a house on a flood plain in the first place ? Is anyone forcing them ? If there were no takers, they wouldn't get built. I don't see there is any come back once you've bought it. It's the same old story no one takes responsibility.for themselves anymore ! It's always someone else's fault.
On 7 Feb 2014 at 5:44pm wet and soggy wrote:
Merlin: I am sorry, our planners are perfect, and like the rest of us you completely trust what planning officers have been doing.

On 7 Feb 2014 at 6:50pm bastian wrote:
Old mayor, many people buy houses on the flood plain becuse they haven't ever seen it flood, and have no idea just how horrendous and soul destroying a flood can be.
Second point,
Santon have just built the first step of their mega plans on the Davey lane area. They are a mix of pitch roof and flat roof houses. They appear to reach the ground, no garages under or land raising. We all nkow what happened in Davey lane in 2000, all the way up to Malling road. Can any one tell me if they are the public housing project? Because if they are, then the private housing which is to be built on the North st site is allegedly , going to be built on raised land (1 metre higher, artifficially so) than the river, and a bamk built. Doesn't this mean that the Davey lane site will take the brunt of the displaced water?
On 8 Feb 2014 at 8:05am high and dry wrote:
@wet and soggy.
Did you actually read Merlin's post as your reply makes no sense.
On 8 Feb 2014 at 9:23am Old Malling wrote:
I Norway and France people are held responsible. In the UK possibly the local council could be held responsible. So who picks up the bill? Oh yes, us.....
On 9 Feb 2014 at 11:48pm Wet and Soggy wrote:
H&D. yes I did. Merlin will know enough about our local planning department to also know exactly what I mean.
On 10 Feb 2014 at 9:39am Merlin Milner wrote:
W&S. I did not say or mean to imply that planning was perfect. I am trying to explain that if the EA are happy with an application in a floodplain, then it makes it more difficult for planners and councillors to object on flood risk grounds. I have objected to a number of applications in the floodplain and have been thwarted ultimately by the EA and other 'experts' in the planning process. This is where the Lewes Neighbourhood plan may be able to reduce further building in the floodplain. W&S I hope you and others get involved in the Lewes Neighbourhood plan. If you need to know more please get in touch.
On 10 Feb 2014 at 10:52am Ed Can Do wrote:
I bought a house that flooded last time because otherwise there was no way I could possily afford to buy a house in Lewes!
On 11 Feb 2014 at 11:50am Loose slate wrote:
Ed Can Do - you're a braver man than I, I'd see flooding as too high a risk and buy a house somewhere else instead.
As Old mayor said earlier in the thread, no one forces anyone to buy a house built on a flood plain (or anywhere else), it is down to personal choice, and if people don't do the research, or don't understand the risk, they only have themselves to blame.
It is not the fault of the EA or local planners, though I would agree that EA and planners should be obliged to make the flooding risk known to prospective purchasers - but then again, all anyone has to do is look on the EA website and it is easy to see which areas have flooded in the last twenty years or so, and it is not too difficult to find records of serious floods as far back as far as the 1940's or 50's.
Developers will always want to make as much cash out of any project as they can, and if they know they will not be held liable further down the line, what's to stop them building on flood plains and selling the proprties to anyone willing to buy them.
The sooner people start taking responsibility for their own decisions the better. For example, we live in a fairly exposed part of Lewes, and have lost roof tiles on numerous occasions in high winds - but do we blame that on the developers, the EA or the local planners - NO, it is our choice to live there, so we must be prepared to accept responsibility and deal with the consequences.
I was interested to learn that every UK household insurance policyholder now pays a 10 levy on their annual premium
so that those living in flood prone areas can be offered "affordable" insurance premiums. Why should I subsidise other people who have chosen to live in a flood-prone area, I did not force them to live there?
No-one pays a levy to help reduce my insurance premium should I find my premium rises because I want to claim for roof repairs due to storm damage...
Caveat emptor!
On 11 Feb 2014 at 1:34pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Well in fairness, our house only just flooded last time and the Lewes flood was a pretty extreme event. Our house insurance isn't cheap though (400 odd a year) and it doesn't help that my renewal comes up in November every year, right when we start getting flood warnings. My hope is that we will avoid flooding long enough for me to pay off a decent chunk of my mortgage and then sell my house to a DFL once all the other ones in Lewes have gone then move to a similar sized house further up a hill...
On 11 Feb 2014 at 2:01pm Loose slate wrote:
Hi Ed Can Do, looks like you have thought it through and taken a calculated risk, I hope the rain gods smile on you, and that you find a DFL who does not do their homework, or who takes the same view of the risks involved.
One word of warning Ed, if you move too far up one of the Lewes hillsides you may find that storm/wind damage rather than flood damage becomes a concern ;-).
Based on our experience Lewes floods once every 40 years or so, but stormy winds dislodge roof tiles every 10- 15 years or so in our corner of town.
On 11 Feb 2014 at 6:42pm bastian wrote:
Loose slate, there is an issue here with, not buying a flooded house but having water pushed onto your property by the new developement close by. Flood water doesn't obey any rules, it will find a way through the town and no one can stop that. Grante dit is only every 40 years or so, but it is devastating when it happens.
On 11 Feb 2014 at 10:24pm Watching the build daily wrote:
The houses at the end of The Nurseries/Davey's Lane do not appear to be social housing in answer to Bastion's question - as I am currently renting in that area I see then gradually encroaching on the stream that runs down the back of the industrial estate. When the foundations went in I did a bit of research - permission was granted in 2007 - this is alongside the permission for the remainder of the land between there and Spences Lane/ Orchard Road to be a further industrial plot.
On 11 Feb 2014 at 10:44pm Clayhill wrote:
This is some of the background data

Check it out here »

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