Sir – We would like to draw your readers’ attention to the fact that under the proposed new National Planning Framework, the current Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS 25) would be lost.

PPS 25 was introduced in 2006 and brought much-needed reform to local planning, requiring developers and local authorities to formally assess flood risk for new developments and seek Environment Agency approval.We are concerned that the proposed withdrawal of this statement will pose a serious future risk. We recognise that some of the principles of PPS 25 are reflected in the draft framework, but without the clear definitions and technical guidance offered by the PPS we fear the framework will be open to endless challenge and 'interpretation'.

With climate scientists predicting a greater frequency of extreme weather events over coming decades we can ill afford to return to a situation where houses and businesses are put at risk of flooding by ill-considered floodplain development. Sir Michael Pitt, in his report on the 2007 floods, recommended that the operation and effectiveness of PPS 25 should be kept under review and strengthened if and when necessary.

The Department of Communities and Local Government is conducting a consultation, the closing date for submissions being October 17: we have written to ask that PPS 25 be kept in place. We have written likewise to local MPs Nicola Blackwood and Andrew Smith. We urge residents to make their views known.

Peter Rawcliffe, For Oxford Flood Alliance