At the Environment Agency's annual conference, Pitt - who reported on last year's floods for the government - said councils must invest in planners' skills.
"Local authorities have to deal with planning for floods in a much more focused way. They have to upskill their staff and provide the resources to deal with the situation," he warned.
Also at the conference, Local Government Association chief executive Paul Coen admitted that councils must do more to help planners on sustainability. Meanwhile, DEFRA is due to publish its response to the Pitt review shortly, it confirmed earlier this month.