It's greed. We have a similar problem in Florida – builders get approval to put new houses in flood areas. They add a pile of dirt and it gets re-zoned. They fill in ponds and pave over them. (They also paved over live gopher tortoises in their burrows, but a law was recently passed to stop that. )The builders don't care because they make money and the problems will occur years after the homes are sold. The local government approves it because it will swell their tax coffers. The insurers are now charging homeowners so much that it costs more than some mortgage payments. Then people default and the homes are vacant. Home values go down and everyone is unhappy. The legislature is blaming it on the insurers and trying to find a fix, but they let the buildings go up in the first place. Sorry, this is a long response to your comment! I feel bad for that lady's kitties, too. But I wouldn't leave my two cats alone if I knew it could flood…believe it or not, they are more precious to me than all my EL solid compacts!
We flew down to Birmingham last Friday for an antique fair and noticed a few of the dealers were missing. One who was there had photographs of his home showing the water up to the top of his front door. The most awful thing I saw on the news was a lady in Wales who's two cats had drowned as they couldn't get out of her house. She was in tears – and so was I. So sad. Why do the councils insist on building on flood plains!!!!!