Current plans to build one million new homes by 2020 poses a major flood risk unless the UK Government stops its seven-year freeze on new developments being legally required to implement sustainable drainage systems.
Systems such as green roofs, ponds, and permeable paving reduce the risk of floods by slowing the ingress of water into drains.
The risk of flooding is expected to go up as climate change creates heavier rainstorms. At present, however, new developments can connect to existing drains, adding to the danger of potential flooding.
In 2010 a law was passed that required new developments to use sustainable drainage systems but the government halted the rules to save money for developers and hurry up new home production. A recently published report found that the freeze has simply increased overall flood risk without saving money.
Terry Fuller of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, which contributed to the report, said that the primary obstacles to wider sustainable drainage system implementation were neither technical nor financial, so he saw no reason why the UK government should not lift the freeze.