One year on from the floods that devastated communities in South Yorkshire, the Green Party has called for radical action to prevent them from happening again. The Greens point out that the Environment Agency has criticised the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment in the Sheffield Development Framework as not fit for purpose”.
Green Cllr for Central Ward Bernard Little said, “Many homes and businesses are still feeling the effects of the floods, and lives have been lost or broken. Although it cant be proved that last years flood was a direct result of climate change, there were 206 global flood disasters last year compared with an average of 172 between 2000 and 2006,which is consistent with climate change scientists’ predictions. So we have got to be prepared for more extreme weather events like this.
“We need a strategy to manage flooding in the whole river catchment area that Sheffield lies in, not just at bottlenecks. This means planting trees and creating banks on slopes, creating retention ponds to slow down water flow, and encouraging more permanent pasture so the soil acts like a sponge. We need to conserve wetland and recreate reed-beds and woodland in flood plains and stop canalising our streams and rivers. English Nature, the Environment Agency and water management agencies must be given the power to stop developments that make flooding more likely.
“In planning there needs to be more recognition of the need for more permeable surfaces to reduce water flow. The blanket tar marking of areas for parking and the like needs to stop, and the use of alternatives such as grass Crete and pebbles for drainage in new developments should become the norm.
“All this demands real long term political leadership and a strategy to manage flooding that tackles the roots of the problem.”