THE latest flooding crisis in Yorkshire has done nothing to dampen planners’ spirits.
As large swathes of Kirklees recover from last week’s floods, a planning application for new housing in a known flood zone near Jackson Bridge sits with officers at Kirklees Council, says one Kirklees councillor.
Holme Valley representative Clr Nigel Patrick, said he had objected to the bid by A Patrick Development Ltd to put up eight town houses at Wildspur Mills, Sheffield Road, but had been told there was no problem.
He said: “Kirklees Highways and Drainage officers say they can’t refuse on flood grounds.
“Despite everybody knowing that these places flood they are still happy to approve them.
“The Environment Agency has been consulted and hasn’t come up with any objection.”
Clr Patrick added that the proposed development was within the flood zone of Hepworth Dike which he said regularly flooded New Mill.
Flood victim, Mary Fox, whose council house near Leeds Road, Bradley Mills was deluged with water when the River Colne burst its banks last month, said she couldn’t understand how people would get home insurance.
But a Kirklees Planning spokesman defended the plans saying they were just following Government planning policy.
“The local planning authority cannot advise against developments simply because they lie in a flood zone.
“The Government’s policy provides the mechanism to assess flood risk and to allow appropriate development in the flood zone.
“In addition, changes to legislation have made the Environment Agency a statutory consultee on development in high flood risk areas.
“As such, there is a close working relationship between the Environment Agency and the local planning authority in both assessing development sites and in the imposition of conditions attached to planning permissions.
“The council is also developing its own in-house drainage expertise in Highway Services to assist in this process.”
The spokesman added, a full flood risk assessment of Wildspur Mills had been done and the Environment Agency had raised no objections in either 2004 when the initial application was submitted, or in 2006 when an amendment was made.