During Tuesday’s debate on Lords amendments to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill in the House of Commons, Tom Randall MP raised with Ministers the importance of houses not being built in flood areas.
During the debate, Gedling’s Conservative Member of Parliament, Tom Randall acknowledged that a Lords amendment regarding flooding was well intentioned but impractical: “I appreciate that the wording of Lords amendment 80 is not suitable given its likely scope, but flooding is a big issue in my constituency. It has affected a number of building sites, the Linden Grove development being just one example.”
Tom went on to ask the Minister of State for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities for assurances that powers available to the Government, including the forthcoming planning policy framework, will create the infrastructure and apparatus necessary to ensure that a robust system will be in place to prevent flooding from affecting future housing developments.
The Minister of State for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities replied: “I can, with pleasure, give that assurance to [Tom Randall MP’s] constituents, and to those in other flood-risk areas. We have considered this matter very carefully. We have strengthened planning policy and guidance and put capacity into local authorities to enable them to assess risks properly. We believe that the policy strikes the right balance between allowing house building where it is safe and, of course, protecting homes from flooding in the future.”
Speaking after Tuesday’s debate and votes on the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, Tom said: “On Tuesday, the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill was back in the House of Commons for debate and voting on. I raised the importance of new housing not being built in flood risk areas with the Minister, like we have seen near Linden Grove in Gedling and other sites across Gedling. While an amendment to the Bill from the Lords on this issue was well intentioned, it was impractical but I am pleased the Government have strengthened planning policy and guidance for local Councils to ensure that a robust system is in place to prevent flooding from affecting future housing developments.
“After numerous votes on Tuesday, I am pleased the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill is now one step closer to becoming law. It will benefit residents across Gedling in many ways, including the scrapping of housing targets and the introduction of greater protections for our precious Green Belt. It will also trigger the creation of an East Midlands Combined Authority which will be formed in May with the election of a Mayor that comes with £1.5 billion of additional transport funding (which will hopefully be spent on moving forward the fourth Trent crossing project in Colwick and improving rail services in Carlton, Netherfield and Burton Joyce) and more local powers over education, skills and housing.
“This Bill is expected to get Royal Assent and become law later this month.”