Last week was a planning committee meeting again. And once again I’ll say the whole system needs an overhaul. First central government (regardless of politics) needs to immediately enforce that all new houses are carbon neutral. Last weekend I went to visit someone in West Bridgford who had had the back of their house fully insulated to carbon neutral standards: you could feel the warmth as you walked in, and the air had a much more even humidity. Why don’t we build all new houses like this? We have a very poor historical housing stock in the UK, we cant afford to be throwing up more inefficient housing now, it’s bad for the planet, it’s bad for our health and in the long run it will be bad for our pockets.
Secondly, we need a better way to deal with flood risks. Residents are understandably very concerned about this. A couple of sentences from this or that agency are not going to reassure them. For these very large housing developments the relevant bodies should be providing neighbouring residents with a clear, easy to understand report that they can be challenged on. People are intelligent and have a right to be treated with respect and given a proper explanation from the experts. They may even have valuable local knowledge to contribute.
Finally, leaving essential, critical, long term maintenance of significant drainage dykes to residents associations or developers is not sensible. Where possible the developer should pay a drainage board or similar agency to adopt them.