Sunday, 21 October 2007

Response to JSPU Consultation in Berkshire

This is my response to a consultation on mineral extraction and its effect on flooding.

Continued extraction of minerals in the flood plain at current rates makes flooding problems more likely.

Some ideas to reduce future flooding.
* Protect utilities like water and power stations.
* Survey of storm drains, some need cleaning/ upgrading.
* Stop building on the flood plane, its asking for trouble, and it makes flooding worse for everyone else.
* Reduce the amount of water going down the drain with rooftop collection.
* Stop building sealed surfaces like car parks that reduce groundwater recharge and increase flooding. Products like grasscrete and paving allow people to park withought increasing flood risk.

What about renationalising the utilities? Since privatisation, some water companies are said not to communicate with local authorities. Some were not signed up for the
environment agencies flood warnings! It may be beyond the power of the JSPU to decide this but it could highlight the problems and make recommendations.

Future Plans:
* Any national statements on major infrastructure projects to consider all the alternatives, and properly involve local people
* A legal right for local people to challenge projects at a public inquiry
* Natural and historic resources protected for future generations
* A legal duty on all decision makers to promote sustainable development

With climate change extreme events will become more frequent, we need to prepare for this now.

The document can be viewed at
The Joint Strategic Planning Unit, comprises the six Berkshire unitary authorities, is producing a Local Development Framework to guide the future planning of mineral extraction and waste management and disposal in Berkshire

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