Without the hard work of drainage boards Boston would resemble the Somerset Levels, according to a leading borough councillor.
Coun Mike Gilbert heaped praise on the work of the boards, which take a precept from council tax bills and have power to look after waterways.
He said that while the risk of tidal flooding cannot be eradicated, the drainage boards are vital to ease the risk of river flooding.
Coun Gilbert told The Standard: “If we didn’t have such efficient drainage boards I think we would resemble the Somerset Levels. They’re essential for maintaining agriculture, industry and security of home life.”
Coun Gilbert spoke as the issue of building in flood risk areas comes under the national spotlight.
Figures show 738 homes were built in an area of ‘significant flood risk’ in Boston borough between 2001 and 2011. The figure was the seventh highest in the country and related to 19 per cent of properties built in the decade.
A recent ITV/ComRes poll also showed 79 per cent of the public in favour of a halt on all building in flood risk areas – a move that could put all construction on hold in Boston, with a big knock-on effect for the local economy.
Coun Gilbert said the council has taken the advice of the Environment Agency on board using ‘common sense’ when agreeing new housing and pointed to developments such as The Quays off White Horse Lane, which has been designed with much of the accomodation above the ground floor.
Coun Gilbert said: “With careful planning and careful design it’s quite possible to build properties in an area like Boston. We shouldn’t be prevented from developing, we should just be careful.”