This week’s Queen’s Speech outlined a full agenda of bills the government plans to introduce during the next parliament.
Sadly, there was mention of neither addressing the increasing risk from flooding, nor the priority to build new homes.
That says something about the priority the new government is placing on housing.
In their response to the speech, the Director General at the Association of British Insurers, Huw Evans, said:
“It is important steps are taken to provide more affordable homes, which are badly needed by many people. However this needs to be achieved in a sustainable way, within a planning system which is robust about refusing inappropriate development in areas of flood risk and which pays proper attention to advice from the Environment Agency.
Losing your home to flooding is devastating, and repairs costs on average more than £16,500. The threat from flooding remains the UK’s biggest natural risk and consideration of the future impact of climate change must be part of the decision-making process about new housing.”
This is all very well, but there IS an alternative that would allow homes to be built in flood risk areas. That alternative is the provision of sensible flood protection products as part of the building design. For example, specifying the latest generation of composite flood doors would add less than £1,000 to the cost of the build, but would be a lasting, permanently working defence against flooding. Other similar provision, such as Smart Air Bricks and Non-Return Valves can be used.
The government and insurers can take steps that will benefit everyone, including the economy, by giving a boost to the flood defence industry in the UK.