Over the last few weeks the media has been focused on the weather and the ensuing floods.
In Aylesbury residents of the Willows have been flooded and have had a miserable week.
On the fateful Friday when the deluge came, all forms of media, particularly Twitter, were awash with panic stricken messages. You would have been forgiven for thinking that the whole town was afloat.
In the end all three local councils pulled together to quickly alleviate the situation, and discovered that the flooding had been caused by rubbish blocking the streams.
You can’t help thinking that if, God forbid, his is to be an annual occurrence, the new estates planned around Aylesbury will only exacerbate the situation. The much maligned Environment Agency is consulted for its views on all major developments, yet they pass the buck to the local council with regard to flood risk.
The phrase they use is ‘it is the responsibility of the local planning authority to decide if the Sequential Test has been passed, or not, in accordance with the approved Flood Risk Assessment’.
Make what you will of that! The more land that is built on will surely create more run off, and, ergo, floods.
For example, estates built downstream of Watermead must create a back up of water if their overspill lakes fill up. The 1,560 houses planned between Watermead and Bierton could have an adverse effect on both those localities, despite ‘sequential tests’.
I also wonder how long it will be before these overspill lakes will be deemed a ‘health and safety’ risk. They will either be fenced off, or you will have to wear ‘hi-viz’ if you go anywhere near them.
Talking of health and safety, another casualty of the weather has been the closure of the market for three days in the last two weeks. Apparently, if the wind is predicted to reach 30mph or more the stalls cannot be erected.
Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? And the local authority has the gall to say that our thriving market is the heart of the town. Once customers go elsewhere it will be very difficult to get them back. So be prepared to have no market at all in March, our ‘official’ windy month.