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  • Who the fuck thinks it's a good idea to build houses underneath a quarry cliff?!

  • The same people who are surprised to find out that building houses on a flood plain isn't the best idea.

  • There's a place in Winchester that has been built in a hollow excavated into the side of a heap of chalk-spoil. Apparently the pile was stabilised with concrete piles, but if it were mine I'd be looking at the earth wall with great suspicion every time it rained heavily.

  • There seems to be quite a lot of drone footage now of the floods. Here's one for font fans:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FENco55_­IaY

    There really needs to be so much investment in hydrological engineering, especially, it seems, in the North, although there are obviously often localised floods in London, too. It's just shocking how much this has been neglected.

    Again, comparing it to the floods in East Germany, around the river Elbe, in 2002, where you had similar problems--houses built in the flood plain, the centre of Dresden under water, etc.--, they've since done an enormous amount of work on the areas affected. It's not exactly rocket science to get it right.

    Shocking to read that insurance premiums went up threefold in Bentley, so that people could no longer afford them.

  • Was there not a plan for the government to act as 'insurer of last resort' for flood risks like these?

  • At the moment the government isn't considering these flood as a national emergency, which messed with my head.

  • Shocking to read that insurance premiums went up threefold in Bentley, so that people could no longer afford them.

    I mean... not surprising in principle, is it? And it's not going to get better with climate change and all that, on the contrary.

  • I printed housing plans last week for 500 houses called bollin meadow with a nice little brook that meanders through the estate . How the developers get away with building on flood plains baffles me.

  • https://www.floodre.co.uk/

    Anyone who takes out household insurance pays a surcharge (£20 or £30, I seem to remember),
    that Flood RE uses to ensure that residencies in acknowledged flood risk areas can get 'some' insurance.

    It leads to local authority indolence.
    Local authorities are insured by 'Us' against the financial cost implications of planning decisions that allowed further development of flood plains up until 2014 or'15.
    Since then developers are supposed to develop according to SuDS principles.

  • No mention of SuDS?

  • When our house flooded in London, our insurer moved us onto the Flood Re plan for future cover. From what I understand, our cover for everything except flooding was as standard but the flooding cover was passed onto the scheme, which meant the price didn't change drastically - there was about a 15% increase in premium IIRC.

    https://www.floodre.co.uk/

  • As a high rise dweller* I've got very little sympathy with the petit bourgeois who accept the risk of living on a flood plain just so that they can have a little garden in which they sit and tell themselves they're a better sort than the chavs who live in flats.

    .
    *Not that high, 6 stories only.

  • Locally, in (the glory that is) Ruislip,
    the street most prone to flooding is 'Brook Drive'.
    A cursory glance at (older) OS maps would show this short street was built,
    unsuprisingly, over the course of a brook.
    And, of course most of the householders have replaced formerly free draining front gardens
    with impermeable parking areas.

    • Shocking to read that insurance premiums went up threefold in Bentley, so that people could no longer afford them.*

    Unfortunately the insurance industry is a business set up to make a profit. The fault lies with Govt for ignoring costal, river and surface water flooding issues. As mespilus mentioned above, the ABI stepped in with flood re but Gov should be doing more.

    https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issu­es/topics-and-issues/flood-re/

    The software the Environment Agency uses is poor compared to that in the hands of insurers. Even so, you can have fun here and see how likely you are to flood

    https://flood-warning-information.servic­e.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk/map

  • The fault lies with Govt for ignoring costal, river and surface water flooding issues.

    Definitely. This is a problem of infrastructure - on the one hand there might be missing flood protection in some places, and on the other hand there definitely are many houses built in areas that are at way too high a risk of flooding to begin with. Insurers want to make a profit, sure, but even if they were a non-profit institution premiums would still go up for a lot of these people.

    A holistic concept for flood protection is usually complex, as there are many factors and, even more importantly, stakeholders involved. It requires thinking and planning decades ahead, thinking and planning regionally rather than on a per-council basis, and spending sometimes a LOT of money without any return (unless you count the potential reduced damages as a 'return'), and definitely not in any short to medium term.

    So... basically lots of things that aren't really encouraged the way UK governance works at the moment. Totally worth it in the long term though, if you compare it with the costs due to unchecked floods (not to even mention the potential danger to life and limb of course).

  • We live near a Brook Rd and when we got our survey it showed that another house we looked at was in a high risk flood spot. Several tower blocks are built on the flood risk area too.

    Although in fairness to our council, there is a tonne of "soft" flood defense as well as routing it underground for part of it. Lots of willows in the housing estate and lots of trees and water feature areas that spread the water out wider before it continues along it's reinforced course.

    We're lucky in that the elevation means we're not at risk*, but as we're within 200m of a water source there are a few insurers who won't insure us. Having had an unrelated issue with an outstanding claim which limited us to one insurer on a weird technicality, I do empathize. But ultimately insurers calculate risk, so it's not unreasonable for them to charge more.

    *or if we do end up flooded then there are going to be wider societal issues which mean flooding is the least of our concerns.

  • The Thames Regional Flood & Coastal Committe might take exception to some of that. Within the Thames region, within the Environment Agency's 6-year investment programme that concludes in 20/21 some 30,000 residencies have been safeguarded at an average cost of around £6k.
    Cynics might claim this is the low hanging fruit.
    The current estimates for the next 6-year programme are closer to £25k per residence.

  • Yeah but... Thames. Cynics might claim that if London was located e.g. on the Tyne, the Thames area would be a lot further down on the list of national priorities.

    That being said, of course it's not like nothing is done at all. The recurring floods just show that there is still a lot more work to be done, and infrastructure to invest in. In this context btw, things like the renaturation of rivers counts as 'infrastructure' too, as that tends to decrease flood peaks (if done correctly).

  • I agree, as would the ThRFCC.
    The Local Levy paid by each local authority within the Thames Region, based upon the total income from Council Tax, gives the ThRFCC much greater freedom to fund feasibility studies,
    which if they meet EA cost benefit ratios can qualify for DEFRA Grant in Aid.
    Truly is a scale and density effect.
    And of course results in the concentration of investement in the Thames Region, which is not quite congruent with 'London & the South East'.

  • You should come and have a look at the Natural Flood Management structures, currently 'leaky dams' we are building across intermittent, (and one) perssistent stream in Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve, to attenuate peak storm water flows out of the woodland into the valley of the River Pinn, where housing was built back in the '30s.

  • There's quite a bit of work going on with SuDS up here in Enfield. Loads got done with Salmons Brook: https://www.thames21.org.uk/salmons-broo­k/

  • Yep, Park Wood, (one of the four woods that form Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve), is part of a 4-site Thames21 project to (attempt to) quantify the benefits of natural flood management, that includes the Salmons Brook.
    https://www.thames21.org.uk/2017/10/defr­a-gives-natural-flood-management-project­s-200000-boost/

  • I waiting to see if the reed beds etc turn into a massive breeding ground for flies and biting things. Riding down the lea valley on a warm still summer evening is a rather protein-rich experience.
    If the plans work out, it'll be great - the work seems to have been done to a decent standard and the features are attractive.

  • Hopefully the reed beds give rise to a pyramid of life,
    with eventually raptors feeding off insectivorous small birds.

  • Won't somebody think of the insects!

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