West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has welcomed the new powers requiring Lancashire County Council as the lead flood authority to give consent to new developments only if they are satisfied that the drainage systems can cope.

In recent years West Lancashire homes and farm land has been hit by flooding from heavy rainfall.

Following these incidents, residents have expressed their concern that further new building developments will make the flooding situation worse unless action is taken and drainage improved.

From April 2014, LCC as the lead flood authority (LLFA) will be required to give their consent to any development of more than 10 houses or greater than 0.5 hectares before any development can proceed. This new regulatory power will impose stringent limits on the design of sustainable drainage systems to control water discharge into the drainage and sewer system at times of extreme rainfall.

The MP's written to the County Council seeking further clarification on the extent of these powers, what they mean in practice and how they will work.

She told QLocal: "For so many people more development, brings more homes that results in more flooding.

"Across West Lancashire the drainage and sewer system is unable to cope at times of extreme rainfall which we are seeing happen with increasing regularity.

"Adding more water to the system will undoubtedly increase people's fear of the consequences.

"I am looking to Lancashire County Council to use these powers fully to reassure residents that new developments won't increase the threat of flooding. Residents need to be assured that these capacity issues are addressed before building work begins and it is too late.

"These new powers are a welcome addition to all the other work being done through local flood action groups to better protect local residents from flooding."