Thousands of new homes to be built in areas at high risk of flooding

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Planning permission has been granted to over 5,000 new homes this year, despite already being located in particularly flood prone areas.

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The new research looked at 16,000 planning applications from January to September, ahead of the Environment Agency’s Flood Action Week, which began Monday.

The analysis showed 200 permissions, including a total of 5,283 home developments, have been granted to local authorities where more than one in 10 homes already are at significant risk of flooding.


The report was commissioned by LV General Insurance (LVGI), one of the largest home insurers in the UK, working with independent think tank Local.

He said a long-term holistic approach to flooding should be developed, working closely with the bodies – and warned that with the overwhelming need for new homes, England could see many more properties being built in areas at high risk of flooding. Chances are.

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LVGI claims director Martin Milliner said: “Climate change will increase the risk of UK weather-related hazards such as flooding, and it is important that we prepare for this.

“While we welcome the Government’s commitment to increasing housing, we have concerns about the UK’s resilience to future flood events, and in particular the number of new housing developments in areas at flood risk that are still receiving approval. are doing.

“This research sheds light on a related amount of current and future developments in areas with high flood risk.

“To tackle this, we need to come together and develop a holistic approach to flooding for the long term, with property developers, insurers and the government – ​​both nationally and locally – building issues on floodplains. to tackle.”

Andrew Whitaker, planning director for the Home Builders Federation, said it was fitting that the government was trying to speed up home construction given the housing crisis, adding that planning rules already pushed more development away from the floodplains. .

“However, where there is no other option, or sites in high flood risk areas are the most sustainable sites for other reasons, developments have to meet extremely stringent mitigation requirements set by the Environment Agency which is the statutory advisor on plans for such houses. . regions,” he said.

Chris Renard, housing spokesman for the local government union, said the council would always reject planning applications that were “reckless and irresponsible” and “generally opposed to building property where there is a risk of flooding”.

However, he acknowledged that one in a hundred plan applications in the past five years had not been settled in accordance with the Environment Agency’s flood risk advice.

When approving homes at risk of flooding, councils should also require adequate protection by the developer, Mr Renard said, adding that the government should also introduce “mandatory flood requirements for new homes in building regulations”.

A government spokesman said: “Our national planning policy is clear that floodplain development should be avoided wherever possible, and construction in these areas should be protected when necessary – we follow this guidance from local planning authorities.” expect to do.

“We are providing a record investment of over £5.2 billion for flood and coastal protection in England to create about 2,000 new defense plans, to improve the security of over 336,000 properties.”


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