It is unfortunate that some are still in denial about climate change and flooding.

The problem is not what has been built in the past ten years but what has been built in the 200 years before that.

Today all new build is required to ensure that the speed and quantity of rainwater leaving any piece of land runs no faster and is of no greater volume than that which occurred before the new build took place.

That’s why for example if a front garden is made into a parking area it must be built to allow the rainwater to seep into the ground below and not run off into the street. Now we can all walk our local streets and see where this either happened before this requirement was made or has been ignored. And it all contributes to flooding as the amount of rainfall on some days simply exceeds the capacity of the drainage system of the roads.

If new build adds to flooding, where is the evidence? A picture of a flooded street tells us there was a flood and not the cause of the flood. New build not only has to manage its rainwater but also build in a further 40 per cent capacity to allow for climate change, which causes it to rain perhaps less frequently but much harder when we have a storm.

Mr Degen observes that there is not a flood agency as such. Well there is such a body; for Watford it is the Local Lead Flood Authority namely Hertfordshire County Council.

And in addition to planning permission, all new build that drains into a watercourse needs HCC consent to do.

Dealing with flood issues in 2020 is not a case of pass the parcel. But rather not adding to the flood issues inherited from the past 200 years and amplified by climate change.

Roger Pidgeon

by email