The comments made in the flooding article (15 May, Insurance Times) were interesting. We compared all the planning applications filed during 2002 against all the floodplain maps.

Of those proposed developments that could be accurately geo-referenced, 17% of residential project applications and 23% of commercial project applications were in the 'at risk' flood areas.

It is clear from looking at the year of construction by postcode that a lot of these applications are passed, as 127,000 new residential properties have been built in the floodplain in the last ten years.

Perhaps the potential risk is being considered in the design of some of the properties in these areas. Or perhaps adequate defences are being built or already in existence in many of these areas. However, there is no binding legal requirement on developers at present to ensure that this is the case.

In my opinion more 'teeth' should be put into current legislation and planning guidance, such as PPG25, to protect the man in the street, rather than leaving it entirely for insurance companies to provide the safety net.

Mark Harrison

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