Author of flood review calls for an end to paving over gardens

The author of the independent review into the summer floods has suggested homeowners should no longer have the right to concrete or pave over their front gardens.

Sir Michael Pitt was asked last August to identify what could be learnt from the emergencies and to make recommendations to help cope more effectively with flooding.

Managing surface water is one area that he believes can be improved. About two-thirds of the floods were caused by surface water and he is calling for a new emphasis on guarding against it.

Pitt said it should no longer be a right of householders and firms to lay impermeable surfaces and says planning permission should not be granted for those wanting to turn front gardens into car parks.

He added that the Environment Agency was best placed to develop a national approach to managing surface-water flood risk, including the development of surface water mapping and warning tools.

"The country was fortunate that the impact of the emergencies was not much more severe," he said.

An RHS booklet, Front Gardens, offers advice on cutting flooding risk. It provides practical solutions on how to have a bio-diverse front garden and a car park in the same space by using permeable paving, which lets rain water drain into the soil rather than run into the road.

- Front Gardens can be downloaded from

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer