Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury pens his monthly column for the Guardian.

IN recent weeks we’ve once again witnessed the utter devastation that flooding can bring to our communities, with torrential rain and overflowing rivers overwhelming defences in communities right across the country.

The people of Northwich are sadly no strangers to the havoc that flooding can cause, to homes, businesses, transport and livelihoods.

With questions rightly being raised about the contribution of climate change to these destructive weather systems, it once again raises the critical issue of the building of homes in areas which are already judged to be at high risk of flooding.

Only this week we’ve seen the head of the Environment Agency Sir James Bevan saying the building of new homes on flood plains should be avoided, and in Northwich that’s something residents and local councillors have been campaigning on for some considerable time.

You’d think it would stand to reason that high risk areas would be considered unsuitable for houses, but this has not been the case.

Bellway are building 227 new homes on the banks of the River Dane in Leftwich, a project which has caused huge controversy in the local area for this very reason.

Having initially been rejected by Cheshire West and Chester’s planning committee, their decision was overturned on appeal by the government despite protestations by local residents and councillors.

During torrential rainfall In August last year the River Dane rose from 0.17m to more than 4m in just a matter of days.

A huge concern given what we’re seeing across the country right now, coupled with the prospect of an increasingly unstable weather system causing yet more floods for the foreseeable future.

It’s a huge concern and it’s something the government can’t continue to ignore. They must stop permitting the construction of homes on land at risk of flooding.