New homes need to be better protected against flooding and should only be built on flood plains if there is no real alternative, the Environment Agency has warned.
The warnings follow widespread flooding caused by Storms Ciara and Dennis this year.
Currently, there are 112 flood warnings in place across England and Wales, and making homes ‘flood-proof’ to prevent future damage is paramount according to the Environment Agency.
Sir James Bevan, head of the Environment Agency, said: “First, we must continue to do what we have been doing for some years now: building and maintaining strong defences to reduce the risk of communities being flooded. The best way to defuse the weather bomb is better protection and stronger resilience. We need both.”
Making Homes Flood-Proof
One of the mitigating solutions suggested to flood-proof homes is to designate the ground floor just for garages and move living spaces up to first and second floors to protect people and their belongings from flooding.
But Sir James added that it wouldn’t be practical to ban all development on flood plains because they cover wide areas of the country. He stressed that if there is no real alternative to building new homes on flood plains, then they should at least be more resilient to flooding.
Sir James went on to say that most people would accept that some homes should not have been built, and called for a conversation about the sustainability and protection of homes in the long term.
Is Your Home Protected?
Six out of 10 people never check their home’s flood risk, a startling study revealed last year. This is not only dangerous from a safety standpoint but can also prove extremely costly.
For those looking to self build or buy a home in a flood zone, it is essential to research the risk of flooding and plan in mitigation solutions at the design stage where possible.You should also establish a flood defence strategy, including a plan of what to do should a flood occur.
The builders of this oak frame property knew that their plot was prone to flooding so they had the house raised up one meter above the ground to prevent flood damage.