More than half of new homes in North Somerset built on flood plains
PUBLISHED: 08:50 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:25 10 May 2017
North Somerset Council has been revealed as one of the worst authorities for permitting new housing developments in areas at a high risk of flooding.
The authority is fifth on the list of councils in England ranked by how many new houses have been approved for flood-prone land.
In 2015 and 2016, 58 per cent of all new houses in North Somerset were built in areas at a high risk of flooding – despite this type of land accounting for just 30 per cent of the entire district.
A council spokesman told the Mercury they were created alongside a detailed flood management scheme to reduce flood risk for people living in the developments and the surrounding areas.
The new statistics come from the Environment Agency, the Land Registry and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Groundsure, a company which specialises in environmental risks, analysed the statistics to look at the probability of river and sea flooding.
Its managing director Dan Montagnani said strict planning regulations are in place, but the amount of building on flood-prone areas varies wildly between local authorities.
He added: “Regardless of flood mitigation measures required by planning and put in place, homebuyers need to consider additional risks and implications that come with buying a home built on a flood plain.
“The average cost of recovering from damage from flooding is almost 30 times higher than that following a burglary.”
A council spokesman said the authority’s standing is largely down to developments on Weston Airfield.
They added: “While it is theoretically in a flood risk area it was planned and developed with a strategic flood management scheme in close consultation with the Environment Agency.
“The development is designed to ensure flood risk is minimised.”