If it rains and floods – sue them!




As more terrible weather heads this way I have a solution to the problems of flooding for millions across the country – sue those who signed off on the building of houses on a flood plain or area at risk of flooding. I’m sure you’d find the problem would be come less of an issue very quickly if authorities from local councils up to national government alongside the house builders were liable for up to 25 years if the house were flooded. While this might seem extreme consider the damage done over the last few years and the complete lack of effort from anyone to solve the problem.

For years it appears that companies have been getting away with building across areas completely unsuitable for housing – or any other kind of building for that matter – while the number of city centre brownfield sites are ignored as they are too difficult or small for the profit margins of those same companies. We only need to look at Aberdeen’s own premier house builder’s effort at Kepplestone where the height measurements were flawed, the tenants were warned about having more than eight people in the house at one time and there was issues with rain damage. If this lax approach is copied across all companies – especially with regard to building by rivers and in flood prone areas – then they should be liable for the repair costs.

Then again the owners need to take a look at themselves. “Oh look at the river at the end of the garden, it’s only a foot below the top of the bank…We’ll buy it!” I would argue that as part of the survey then this sort of thing should be mentioned, and also like when a car is passed on from owner to owner the “log book” for the house with issues like previous flooding should be mentioned to allow the new owners every chance of a fair sale. Owners too should use their eyes and do research themselves. There is also a strong argument that we should dredge the rivers that are at danger of flooding to remove all the debris and detritus that has amassed there over the years through dumping of rubbish and things that have been washed away previously – that would be cheaper than constantly clearing up afterwards each time.

Areas that are caught unawares and it’s a first have my fullest sympathies as it must be a horrific experience to lose most of your belongings and have your house ruined in such an unstoppable way. We are living in a much wetter climate these days and with the climate change we’re gradually becoming aware of it’s likely here to stay. These issues are only going to get worse and start effecting areas that have never suffered before – all the more reason for authorities and house builders to be more responsible in the licenses and planning permissions granted.

I do have sympathy for areas that have never had flooding before, but some have it almost annually and that’s the point my empathy runs out. The government needs to be acting to sort out reinforcing the banks and flood protections, builders should not be allowed to build on greenfield sites or sites prone to flooding if there are brown field sites available, and buyers should use their eyes.


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