Its Just a Puddle – Silly Surface Water Run off Objections to Planning Applications

The last and rather desperate objection to any form of greenfield housing development is to say ‘it flooded in 1967′ or some such.  This week, in the UK with the worst rains for a few years there will be many who will say ‘I told you so’ (im in the Seychelles on the way to Uganda on business with tropical storms abounding but can remember British rain).

One such is from Cllr Keith Kondakor (@greennuneaton) below, the site was approved for a Barrets scheme the week before.

Sorry Cllr ITS JUST A PUDDLE it will bother noone except a few cows feet.  Any greenfield anywhere in England will have a rainfall absorption capacity that if exceeded will lead to minor and temporary flooding of lower lying portions.  Where then to locate development if not flat areas, steep areas also leads to runoff on other sites and with less  opportunity to create settling ponds, SUDS etc.  Of course the EA on large sites will insist on its 100% absorption of run off on site policy.

In fact puddles of a few inches only is a good sign as it indicates that the field can absorb water without it flowing into watercourses, if these natural dips are deepened then there can be no technical objection to development.  Surface water runoff (as opposed to fluvial flooding) is only in a small number of cases a severe problem, such as steep valleys with denuded forest cover, where natural run off is bottled up by road and railway embankments etc. and where street drainage is antiquated   To see it become a universal and rather unscientific objection to anything is sadly a sign of how anti-development reflexes falsely proclaimed as ‘green’ have corrupted localism, which in many cases sadly is simply a synonym for putting emotionalism above evidence.

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About andrew lainton

International Urban Planner

Posted on November 26, 2012, in urban planning. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The development is being done by Bellway – not Barrets. Nuneaton was nowhere near the wettest part of the midlands a week ago. This “puddle” was a lot deepar away from the edge and is still there after a week. Originally Bellway did plan a large retention area here but now want to build houses on this exact area with an underground tank.

    The soil is a good clay and a large area of current farmland could run off onto this site. Underground tanks could work if they are at the correct level and capacity. The problem is the severn trent system they are feeding into is already failling. Sadly we have not had the design peer reviewed as both the EA & Severn trent refuse to check the modelling. On a prevous Bellway site by Browns lane in Coventry they have got the design badly wrong. There tankers have to come and empty water from the SUS system that does not work – all done by the same consultants.

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  2. Pingback: More Daft Slightly Damp Fields Photos « Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

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