5,000 homes approved to be built in flood zones

More than 5,000 new homes in flood-risk areas of England have been granted planning permission so far this year, as local authorities try to tackle the housing shortage.

Analysing 16,000 planning applications lodged between January and September, researchers found that approximately 200 had been approved, for a total of 5,283 new homes, in areas where more than 10 per cent of homes were already at significant risk of flooding.

Builders insist that the need for new homes meant even flood-risk areas would have to be used, despite warnings from insurers.

The Local Government Association’s housing and environment spokesperson, David Renard, said almost 99 per cent of applications were decided in line with Environment Agency flood risk advice.

Martin Milliner, the claims director at LV= General Insurance, which commissioned the report, said: “Whilst we welcome the government’s commitment to increase housing we have concerns about the UK’s resilience to future flood events, and in particular the number of new housing developments in flood-risk areas that are still receiving approval. Flooding is an extremely traumatic event which has a devastating impact on a person’s life, both physically and mentally.”

An investigation by Greenpeace this year found that one-third of England’s most important flood defences were in private hands, with more than 1,000 found to be in a poor state of repair.

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