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Flood schemes to benefit from major investment

The government has published plans to invest £5.2bn in flood schemes over the next six years, with over £860m expected to support flood alleviation schemes this year.

The new Flood and Coastal Erosion Investment plan will benefit over 1,000 schemes across England, and hopes to better protect 336,000 properties by 2027, helping to avoid £32bn in wider economic damages and reducing the national flood risk by up to 11%.

This investment follows the Environment Agency’s delivery of the government’s previous £2.6bn investment between 2015 and 2021, which better protected more than 314,000 homes.

This year will see an extra £250m spent on flood and coastal defences compared to the previous year, the highest ever annual investment in flood protection in England.

brown and white concrete building

Environment secretary, George Eustice, said: ‘The tragic recent events in Germany and Belgium serve as a sobering reminder of how devastating flooding can be. We are standing by communities and will bolster defences against flooding across England with many thousands more properties better protected by 2027.

‘It’s important we take action right across the system. Our comprehensive plan will achieve this by tightening planning procedures, helping more people access insurance and making homes more resilient to the effects of flooding.’

The government announced the launch of a consultation in the autumn, which will look at how to better protect frequently flooded communities.

They will also introduce tighter guidance for planning authorities, which will reaffirm that local authorities must refer planning decisions to ministers when the Environment Agency is sustaining an objection to planning permission on flood risk.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: ‘We have seen some devastating flooding around the world so far this summer. No one can prevent all flooding and climate change means the risk is increasing, but we can reduce the risks.

‘Having completed the government’s previous six year capital programme on time and on budget, better protecting more than 314,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion, this year we began the government’s new £5.2 billion flood programme.

‘These schemes should provide reassurance to communities and businesses, but no one should have a false sense of security. I strongly urge people to sign up for flood warnings and regularly check flood risk on GOV.UK.’

In related news, key partners, including London Councils, Transport for London (TfL), and the Environment Agency, will meet with the Mayor of London to ensure everything possible is being done to prevent and reduce the impact of flooding in the capital.

Photo by Don Lodge

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