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Planning: Floods

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment her Department has made of planning regulations in the light of the floods in summer 2007. (204343)

Sir Michael Pitt’s interim conclusion from his inquiry into the lessons learned from the floods last summer, is that the new policy in Planning Policy Statement 25 Development and Flood Risk (PPS25), is sound but should be rigorously applied by local authorities. Work on achieving this is already well in hand. The Practice Guide to PPS25, which will provide practical advice to local authorities on implementing the policy, is due to be published shortly.

We have decided to amend the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995, so that in future, householders will only be able to pave over their front gardens without planning permission, if the surface provided would be permeable. We are taking this step because surface water run-off was a significant contributory factor to last summer’s floods. We anticipate this amendment coming into force in October.