The Big Eye - Floody daft planners!
The rain has been falling for so long that I have forgotten what it feels like to walk anywhere without sensible shoes or wellies and there is an uncomfortable air of damp and decay enveloping everything.
I’m fed up with it but at least my house is above the floodline and the heating and lights all work.
Elsewhere in the UK, thousands of people are paddling about in muck and mud whilst trying to recover their possessions from flooded homes and battling with builders, insurance companies and local authorities as they try to get back to ’normal’.
For many, this is a forlorn hope as houses take months to dry out and in any case there will be a waiting list for the specialists needed to repair walls and electrics soaked in a foetid soup of muddy water and raw sewage. It is literally a nightmare for people.
At least those with insurance can take some comfort from knowing that all will eventually be sorted and paid for... but for how long?
Insurance companies are trying to wriggle out of paying for these disasters in the future and wants the Government to indemnify them because they say the financial implications are unsustainable for their businesses.
So who should pay?
Insurers have been taking us for a ride for years but push has now come to shove and the first sign of a threat to their cosy world has had them bleating to Parliament that they need help.
Essentially, their argument is that planners and developers have allowed the building of millions of homes on flood plains and low lying land that isn’t adequately protected from the unexpected and changing weather.
These weather patterns aren’t a new phenomenon...talk to locals and look at where the rest of the settlement has been built and you’ll see that the tranches of land recently deemed ideal for building land were historically regarded unsuitable because they’ve traditionally been areas liable to flooding. It’s only the Canute-like mentality of council planners which has caused this problem – so maybe they should pay?
Now, Mr Nick Boles, your Planning Minister, has decreed that we’ll need to build an extra 100,000 houses per year in rural areas on open farmland to enable everyone to have a home to live in. I don’t know how many he’s got in mind for Norfolk but I can see trouble brewing if he thinks that acres of new houses and concrete in this part of England will be acceptable to those who live or try to work here. We haven’t got enough jobs to go round as it is and more house buyers will need more jobs to pay their mortgages (and insurance) and in any case I think we ought to use this land to grow food crops.
You can’t eat turf and Tarmac and the sight of big housing estates rather than country estates is unlikely to encourage the tourists either.
If the Government bullies us into building more houses, the consequences are obvious to me, we know sea levels will continue to rise, the silted-up rivers will breach their banks and eventually the aforementioned soup will hit the proverbial fan – and the fridge, the telly and the three piece suite. Idiots!
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Weather for King's Lynn
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west