336,000 properties in England better protected from flooding by 2027 with £5.2 billion investment. Homes and businesses across England will be better protected and more resilient in future after the government revealed its long-term plan to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion.
The measures set out in the new plan are the most comprehensive in a decade, including investment of £5.2 billion to create around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect 336,000 properties in England by 2027, alongside support to help households and businesses get back on their feet more quickly after flooding.
The plans also include £200 million for innovative projects such as sustainable drainage systems and nature-based solutions like temporary or permanent water storage areas which also boost wildlife. These will support 25 areas at risk of flooding to test and demonstrate innovative actions to adapt to a changing climate and improve their resilience.
In addition, up to £170 million will be spent to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021. 22 areas across the country will benefit from this immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus
The government’s ambitious long-term plan sets out five key commitments – supported by over 40 clear actions – which will accelerate progress to better protect and better prepare the country for the coming years:
The plan will see the delivery of flood and coastal defences to prevent £32 billion in economic damage, the creation of areas to store water during flooding and greater use of nature based solutions to reduce flood risk.
The plan also sets out proposed changes to the joint government and insurance industry Flood Re scheme. Subject to consultation, this will allow claims to include an additional amount so that flood resilience measures are included in repairs and allow households that have property flood resilience measures in place to benefit from lower premiums.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “Last winter I saw for myself the misery and upheaval that flooding can bring to lives and livelihoods and I said we would do more to help people. This long-term plan will help push back the flood waters and protect hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and livelihoods.”
These announcements come ahead of the publication of the Environment Agency’s long-term Flood and Coast Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England, which sets out how the Environment Agency will work with communities to deliver the government’s plan.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, commented “For every £1 spent improving protection from flooding and coastal erosion, we avoid around £5 of property damages. The long-term commitments announced today will make homes, businesses and infrastructure more resilient to the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis.”