Flood Re and TCPA joint call to government: flood risk must be considered in planning reform bill
In yesterday’s Queen’s Speech the Government, as part of its ‘levelling-up’ agenda, set out its plans to reform planning to make it quicker and easier for new homes to be built.
In a letter published in today’s Times, Flood Re and The TCPA (Town and Country Planning Association) are calling on the government to use this once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure:
- New homes are built in the right places and of the right quality to meet the challenges of climate change
- New homes are not developed inappropriately in areas at risk of flooding, and,
- Communities have a legal right to feed in their local expertise and have their voices heard in planning decisions that affect flood risk in their areas.
Andy Bord, Chief Executive of Flood Re, said:
“Flooding is a real threat to people and their homes now and with continued climate change this will definitely get worse. Homes that are built now must last for generations to come and therefore we must ensure that they are fit for purpose and flood risk is considered. We have the opportunity with the Planning Reform Bill to get this right.
“This means ensuring homes are built in the right places and of the right quality. We know that local communities have the knowledge about their local areas to assist with this and therefore need the legal right to have their voices heard.”
Fiona Howie, Chief Executive, The Town and Country Planning Association, said:
“As the UK assumes global leadership in tackling climate change through COP26, we must act now to protect our communities from future climate risks and the devastation flooding causes. The Planning Bill must consider flood risk and give local communities a legal right to have their voices heard in planning decisions.”
The full letter can be found here and copied below:
Sir, The Planning Bill set out in the Queen’s Speech represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that houses are built in the right places and of the right quality to meet the challenges of climate change. New homes should not be developed inappropriately in areas at risk of flooding and should be built to resilience standards that keep people and property safe. It is also vital that communities have a legal right to feed in their local expertise and make their voices heard in planning decisions that affect flood risk in their areas.
Homes built after 2009 are not included in the remit of the Flood Re scheme (a joint initiative between the government and insurers aimed to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable) and thus the affordability of insurance cannot be guaranteed. Ensuring the three steps that we have highlighted are introduced will leave homeowners less vulnerable to flooding and hence able to shop around for affordable insurance.
Andy Bord, Chief Executive, Flood Re
Fiona Howie, Chief Executive, The Town and Country Planning Association
Main photo courtesy of Pixabay