Reader Letter: Planners must listen to flood fears

Flooding in Beatrice Road in Norwich. Pic: Al Hamden.

Flooding in Beatrice Road in Norwich. Pic: Al Hamden. - Credit: Archant

Norwich has been declared a flood risk area by Government experts, with 11,000 properties threatened.We did not need government experts to tell us this, we needed them to listen to the concerns of local residents and tell us why Planning Police Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk has been constantly disregarded.

This policy specifically requires authorities to heed local anecdotal knowledge about flood risk, Norwich is little different to other old Roman towns but now cities such as Carlisle, Durham and York that sprang up around river systems and because of over development, these places are prone to regular flooding.

Concerns about increased flood risk and non-compliance with PPS 25 have been regularly raised with all local government authorities but always ignored.

Also reference is constantly made to flooding from surface water, but what is completely underestimated because of lack of awareness, is the insidious role that groundwater plays in flood risk and we forget that the Wensum is tidal in Norwich.

One cannot prejudice the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, but it is quite obvious that people in authority are being forced to listen to residents and the concerns they raised.

Other factors such as deregulation, compliance with existing regulations and effective inspections will be scrutinised and what will be hard to ignore in this case is accountability.

I suspect the concept of 'corporate accountability' will not wash on this occasion but will be seen as 'coporate negligence', because it already seems to be a contributory factor and will be very much in the spotlight.