Wychavon is better prepared than most parts of the country to deal with future flooding problems, it was claimed this week.

The district council's managing director, Jack Hegarty, dismissed a government report claiming that flood defences were 'unclear and chaotic' and said the area was 'ahead of the game.' The report published this week by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee found that flood defence measures focused almost exclusively on river and coastal flooding and also criticised the fact that at present, no organisation has responsibility for surface water flooding at either national or local level.

But Wychavon managing director Jack Hegarty claimed that the damage caused in the July 2007 floods was unavoidable and rejected the report's claims that Wychavon was not properly prepared to deal with the ensuing problems.

He added that there were numerous initiatives in place to deal with future flooding and that Wychavon was even ahead of the game' on the matter.

He said "The places that flooded were unpredictable as this was a 1 in 400 year event that we couldn't have prevented that. However, we don't accept that we were under prepared as we're well used to flooding.

"Legislation and responsibility for drainage and surface water flooding is dispersed between different agencies and we hope that the imminent report from Sir Michael Pitt will help to clarify the situation.

"We have a already set up a Flood Action Group who are producing flood action plans for all of our parishes showing which agency is responsible for which aspect i.e. drainage and highways etc.

"We're taking our role as community leaders very seriously and we know this will have a positive impact on our communities."

Meanwhile, Wychavon is expected to apply for a chunk of the £31m Restoration Fund, which will reimburse council expenditure incurred as a result of flooding.

Wychavon has already spent £250,000 as a council and the Government has currently reimbursed them £156,000.

John Healey, floods recovery minister, said: "The money will be made available to local authorities, police authorities and fire and rescue authorities on the basis of costs incurred in dealing with the problems since the summer."

The Countryside Alliance also released figures this week with a warning that more than 3,500 homes in the West Midlands are planned for construction on flood plains or in flood risk areas.

Details released under the Freedom of Information Act stated that the total number of items falling into this category was 3,655.

There are also thought to be more than 600 households in the region remaining displaced following last years floods.

Wychavon District Council and Worcestershire County Council were not among the 22 local authorities in the West Midlands to respond to the Countryside Alliance's request for figures.