As the rain continues to fall and the rivers continue to rise, the finger is being pointed at the Government.

The big question for many seems to be: “What is the Government going to do about it?”

So what can it do?

You cannot legislate against heavy rain or rising river levels – these thing happen.

But there are measures it can and clearly should take in the face of the severe flooding affecting so much of the country – not just in the last few days but over the last few years.

Improved flood defence measures – including siting temporary defences where they are needed and not miles away so that they get caught up in traffic chaos – are the obvious solution.

But what has become clear is the folly of ignoring the force of nature when sanctioning new development. Flood plains do exactly that, they flood. So those homes, offices and other buildings which are granted planning permission and built on these plains run a greater risk of being flooded.

It isn’t rocket science, but it is an issue generations of planners and developers have been happy to ignore. So now that the Government is planning a massive building programme, will they learn the lessons of recent years?

It is unlikely, no matter what the Prime Minister claims. The pressure for new development is so great that not even the force of nature will prevent the Government from agreeing the go-ahead for significant new building schemes.

We have forgotten many of the basic lessons previous generations learned and that is why thousands are now suffering the impact of the serious flooding.

What is more worrying is that we don’t seem willing to re-learn these lessons.

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