I recently sent a copy of this letter to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State to highlight my concerns about the increasing amount of flooding that we are seeing across the country.
Chester is at risk of flooding. Recently we’ve seen flooding in Lache Lane, the meadows and on agricultural land outside of the city. This is in addition to smaller incidences of flooding at individual properties. There is no doubt in my mind that the Government, Environment Agency and council planning committees need to be far more cognisant of the long term effects of building on floodplains, not just for the properties being built, but because of the impact it can have on the properties in the surrounding area. When we let private developers chance their arm on these enterprises, we must not forget that they will be long gone when the damage they have done becomes the problem of the new home owners and the communities that surround them.
History tells us that when we lose the ground that we have designated as flood plain to overzealous developers, we significantly increase the risk of flooding for local residents. It is nonsensical that we continue to build on such sites and then spend increasing sums of money on flood defenses and flood recovery programmes. There is a very real human cost of flooding - the ongoing fear that your home is vulnerable and the problems faced with rising insurance premiums can create an added stress that people don’t need in their lives. Especially if all of this could be avoided.
I appreciate that this particular planning application has been sent to the Secretary of State due to considerable objections from Sport England, however given that the Government Minister, Rory Stewart, said in Parliament that there is to be no building on floodplains in the aftermath of the recent Boxing Day floods, I feel that it would be prudent now for the Planning Committee to follow the government's advice and make sure that this application is rejected.