The idea that developers should pay for flood defences was well supported in your poll (NCE 30 November).
I suspect that 93% in favour did not stop to think that allowing protected development in flood plains removes potential storage volume from the overall catchment capacity. The ultimate effect is that the defences become inadequate or the flood plain increases naturally in size to counteract this.
Pressure on local planners is enormous and the safeguards built in by 'conditioning' development often prove to be extremely difficult or even impossible to enforce.
Even if these flood defences are subject to scrutiny by the Environment Agency at all stages with a view to 'adoption', this will not be 100% effective unless the engineering is required to be in place and approved before development is allowed to begin.
If this safeguard is not in place then history shows that the developments will proceed regardless and we will be left a legacy of inadequate, even unsafe, defences with nobody directly responsible for their maintenance. This will spawn a generation of uninsurable housing and flood plains in further crisis, which the Agency will be expected to deal with.
HM Glenn (M), 2 Oak Rise, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire BD19 4EQ