Monday, 23 July 2007

Water Water everywhere

Well I'm not flooded out the Wye is about 20m below me in elevation but I should have been staying in Upton-on-Severn on Wednesday evening. However this gives cause to reflect on the implications of government planning policy.

Tewkesbury was where my grandmother spent her final years and I can recall several visits where the fields around town were flooded when I visited her in the late 1980s. Yet many of those same fields are the flooded estates of today.

Certainly the Environment minister may hide behind the exceptional nature of the event of the past few days but surely the name flood plain gives him a clue. As we take stock and as our new PM thinks about how we meet the challenges of climate change may I offer him a simple thought.

We have concentrated too much into too small a part of our country.

Of course such observations are not overly welcome but in a modern high tech UK now is the time not to spend massive amounts on building flood defenses for new houses known to be at risk of flooding. Instead we should be decentralizing our economy and ensuring appropriate growth and job opportunities are available in our more remote areas.

Of course a new estates of 20 houses in every Powys village being build year on year however small they are may not meet with overwhelming approval from some. But the costs to the UK of supporting our current flood prone landscape isn't something that appeals to me either

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