As weather patterns become more unstable because of climate change, there is an increased risk of flooding. The ABI has therefore issued recommendations to ensure that the Government’s plans for an extra 200,000 homes in the South East by 2016 take this risk into account.
According to the ABI, a third of the proposed new development areas are located within floodplains. Unless strict planning policies are implemented, it is estimated that 10,000 new homes could be liable to significant flood risk.
The ABI report recommends that:
- the Government should strengthen planning guidance to ensure that new developments are built on the lowest-risk sites first;
- local authorities and developers should use appropriate flood risk assessments to examine options for reducing flood risk associated with proposed developments;
- flood defence spending should be targeted towards vulnerable sites; and
- more use should be made of flood-resilient measures for properties built on a floodplain. These include raising living space and services (e.g. electrical wiring) above flood levels.
Home Information Packs, intended to reduce the risks of house buying, will not cover environmental risks such as floods or subsidence. These are, however, searchable.