Sue Illman, former President of the Landscape Institute and the Construction Industry Council’s Champion for Flood Mitigation and Resilience said today:
‘I welcome the report from the Environmental Audit Committee, which is comprehensively critical of Government in the way it considers and responds to flooding matters. Their lack of a long term strategic approach to flood risk management has resulted in ‘knee-jerk’ responses whenever disaster strikes. This continues to leave communities at risk.
‘Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are recognised by the Committee as an efficient way of dealing with surface water, and sends a call for action to the government, on the mandating of SuDS as the default option in new developments. It is the obvious long-term solution.
‘SuDS are a simple and relatively inexpensive way of helping to prevent surface water flooding by mimicking nature by absorbing water into porous surfaces. This slows down water flow and reduces the likelihood of flooding. ‘Soft’ planted SuDS also provide many other benefits, supporting greater biodiversity and providing attractive landscape spaces.
‘Flooding is not a new phenomenon and it will occur again. It is only wise that we as a country face up to it and put long term solutions in place. We need a clear strategy from Government that provides solutions that are coherent and adaptable to local circumstances. That strategy needs to recognise the economics that planted (bioengineered) drainage schemes, used at both the catchment and small scale, can make a significant contribution to preventing flooding, are easier to implement and cost significantly less. That way, we can do much more.’