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Raynsford aims to thwart flood plain development

DEVELOPERS WILL have to erect their own flood defences for new properties built on flood plains under new planning regulations due to be published next year.

Planning minister Nick Raynsford told a House of Commons committee last week that he hoped the guidelines would stop developers building on cheap, high risk flood plains.

The plans will be formalised in Planning Policy Guidance 25, due to be published in early 2001.

They come in response to the floods which contributed to the country's wettest autumn since records began.

Raynsford told the Commons environment, transport and regional affairs select committee that PPG25 will also favour development on sites free of flood risk.

The guidance is also expected to encourage developers to reduce run-off from new development by using sustainable urban drainage systems. SUDS attempt to reproduce natural drainage systems which absorb rainfall and slow its progress into streams.

It is hoped that PPG25 will protect up to 400,000 new homes already planned for flood plains in the UK.

But Raynsford warned that the guidelines would not promote an 'inappropriate' moratorium on building on flood plains, as this would hamper development on brownfield sites.

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