Property developers are lobbying for changes to government drainage plans

Further delays have hit government plans aimed at easing flooding as property developers lobby against new drainage regulations, the BBC reports.

The government wants to introduce legislation that requires all new property developments to be landscaped to include drainage features that trap flood water on top of the ground, but property developers say this would add unnecessary costs to new builds.

The legislation has been delayed for more than three years, and plans to introduce the new rules in April are expected to be delayed further.

Property developers want to trap flood water in underground tanks so they can use space above ground to build additional properties.

However, Paul Shaffer from Susdrain, the community for sustainable drainage, said surface measures were much more effective tools for dealing with flood water.

He told BBC News: “The greatest benefits are likely to be if the water is captured on the surface.

“In some places it won’t be appropriate, but generally it’s a more simple solution that’s easier to maintain. You get pollutants broken down free of charge by vegetation, you get amenity value that improves people’s quality of lives, you help to improve biodiversity, you also get the benefit that in heatwaves the open areas of water help to cool down the surrounding land.

“Yes, it helps with flood prevention, but it gives so much more than just holding the water in a tank.”

The government plans on funding the maintenance of these drainage features through annual billing of property owners.