Houses on Flood Plains

Building on flood plains is not seen as a good idea but  that is only the case when you want to build the same style of house that we build everywhere and is already unsuited to our changing climate and increased recurrence of flooding. Governments   have become quite irrational  basis for restricting development on floodplains especially when  fluvial flooding is considered in the same way as one caused by a failure of our tidal flood defences.

Somerset and similar low lying areas are not flood plains in the normal way, there is a enough room to accommodate the odd flood providing our houses are designed for that environment. There is nothing to stop development on land such as the Somerset Levels , the Fens and other low lying areas. We just need the right sort of housing.

Existing  Government legislation uses a very blunt definition to restrict development but it really depends on the flood plain and what your living in which brings to the word vernacular. A misused word used by developers to continue  building a product that suits their cashflow, that planners use because its safe and objectors use because apart from the great crested newt they have reasons to object and would rather put up with more of the same. We have a self fulfilling prophecy.

We cannot continue building wholly inappropriate housing just because it’s what we have become used to, our housing needs to adapt to our weather will be more extreme and flooding a regular occurrence.  Flooding that  in coastal areas is likely to be largely salt water rather than the largely benign floods  caused by precipitation.

Its not good to have  ground floors we need to put our apartments and gardens above the garages to be  safe. This also means that the miserable balconies  that have been provided to date need to increased to a size  that is equivalent to the equally miserable gardens now considered acceptable. The difference between the two is no longer significant.

Big balconies
really useful balcony
Big Garages
a look through the future

Northgate School Bridgwater

Walking across what is left of the Brewery Field building contractor Kier is building the perimeter fence. Considering how much the school is costing and the visibility of this fence to the public the ratepayers might have expected  a reasonable standard of detail and workmanship. This appalling detail can be seen beside the pathway.

Brick Pier at Northgate School

The fence changes direction and instead of using special bricks  to close off the coping and manage how brick pier is turned we got the mess below; we did not even get a solid brick but a standard brick with holes.

What is this? No one watching?

Its bad enough that this should be built anywhere but in a town that was once one of the brick making centres of the country it is doubly so. It will either be broken or displaced by the smallest amount of thermal movement. It doesn’t even have the  the usual galvanised steel ties at the end. Where are the architects?

Copping detail with standard brick and no metal tie.


The pier and brickwork was fixed. The image above was what we started with and the image below showing the improved masonry.

Northgate School – Boundary Wall Rebuilt