WE COULD be forgiven for thinking that constant heavy rain is now the norm, given that we have experienced it so often in recent weeks and months.

The interesting thing is that it is now seven years since the major summer floods in 2007 which left significant swathes of the South Midlands and south-west England under water for long periods of time.

Those crises led to lots of promises being made by the then Labour government about how such vulnerable land could be protected.

And it is fair to say much work has been done in developing new, or improving existing, flood defences.

But it is also worth noting that since then there have also been substantial floods elsewhere in the country, be it York or as we are witnessing now, Somerset.

If, as seems to be the case, the increasing number of floods are a direct result of climate change, then it is a situation which is not likely to get any better any time soon. The current, and any future, Government will have to make some significant decisions about how to protect people from flooding.

And part of that may well have to be a major re-think on planning rules which allow housing developments to go ahead in flood plains.

We cannot carry on building housing developments in areas which a few years down the line would then become the scene of much severe, damaging and costly flooding.