This article suggests that despite a Government pledge to crack down on developers who build new homes on flood plains, the number of new homes built on flood risk areas is increasing. The article points out that local planners gave the go ahead for 16 new developments in danger areas in 2007/2008. In each of these case although the Environment Agency raised objections, these were ignored and many were approved after the floods in the summer of 2007 when thousands of families lost their homes and possessions. There are now around two million homes built on flood plains in the UK and the insurance industry will no longer cover people who move into new homes in at risk areas unless the builders have installed flood defences.
It just seems ludicrous to me that despite the bad floods of the past couple of years developers are still choosing to build on areas that are at risk of flooding. The flood plains are called that for a reason, they are there primarily to take the excess water when an area floods. In fact two definitions of the term are "All land adjacent to a watercourse over which water flows in times of flood or would flow but for the presence of flood defences where they exist" and "The area around a body of water which may at times be under water and may at other times be dry land, depending on the level of the water in the lake, river, pond, etc." It seems to be me that if they developers insist on building on flood plains they need to stop building conventional houses and look at other solutions. Something like this Eco-home might work. It is built on stilts so that the water simply flows underneath the house. It also has no foundations that will be swept away by flood waters. Another interesting idea are these floating houses made by Dutch company Waterstudio. One thing is for sure building conventional style houses in an area which will flood is a dumb idea and developers should be looking at the long term implications.