Flood guru backs tougher rules for new homes built in Boston

Mary Dhonau
Mary Dhonau

A flooding expert who visited Boston in the aftermath of December 5’s tidal surge is calling for all homes built in Boston to be ‘flood resilient’.

Mary Dhonau, chairman of The Flood Protection Association, said there should not be a ban on building in flood risk areas but does think developers should do more to equip new properties to be able to cope with the devastation caused by flood waters.
She told The Standard: “Homes should be made to be flood resilient. If you have absolutely got to build in a flood risk area then properties have got to be able to withstand being flooded.”
She added: “I wouldn’t give planning permission to anything that is one of those ‘knock them up cheap’ jobs.”

She admits that compulsory measures to make homes ‘flood resilient’ – such as building properties with garages on the ground floor – would make development in Boston, where there is a lack of affordable housing, more expensive.

But she added: “I believe it is a cost worth paying.
“It’s a no-brainer really when you start to think of the cost of refurbishing a house.”

Ms Dhonau, who has herself suffered flooding 12 times between 1995 and 2007, is a community flood consultant.
She urged flood victims in Boston to apply to a new Government fund which makes up to £5,000 available to pay for flood protection measures.

Anyone interested in applying for the fund can contact floodresiliencegrant@defra.gsi.gov.uk or call 02072381547.
Mary told The Standard she is happy to advise those who get money as to what flood protection they need.

You can contact her on 07754592534 or 01905 351933 or visit her website www.marydhonau.co.uk or tweet her @floodmary.