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Two Million Households 'do Not Realise They Are Living On Flood Plains'

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Telegraph 9/7/14

'Two million households do not realise they are living on flood plains - while chronic underinvestment and climate change are increasing the risks of serious flooding, Government advisers have warned.

Yet tens of thousands of houses are still being built on floodplains, increasing reliance on flood defences - while 75pc of those defences are not being adequately maintained due to “underinvestment”, and hundreds of projects are on hold, the CCC says.

About five million properties – almost one in 6 of all in England - are on flood plains, of which four million are residential properties. Yet more than half of flood plain residents believed they were “not at all at risk” of flooding, according to surveys conducted by the Environment Agency over the past three years. Flood plains are defined as having at least a 1-in-1,000 risk of floods.

The CCC warned earlier this year that the number of existing homes at “significant” flood risk – a 1-in-75 annual chance or greater – would almost double by 2035, from 300,000 to 550,000, due to a combination of climate change and a lack of maintenance of ageing flood defences.

Wednesday's report makes clear that the true number at risk is likely to be much higher because many new homes are also being built on flood plains with inadequate scrutiny.

“We are putting up buildings at a faster rate in areas of high flood risk than elsewhere,” Lord Krebs, the report's chairman, says.

About 12,000 planning applications to build up to nine properties each on flood plains did not receive specific advice from the EA in 2013 due to staffing cuts, the report finds.

As a result, more than 100,000 homes could have been built without proper oversight to ensure that they are safe, resilient and do not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.

More than 800 jobs – 20 per cent of staff - have been lost in the Environment Agency (EA)’s flood risk management team since September 2010, with more than half of those in roles specifically tasked with avoiding floods, despite ministers’ pledges to protect frontline jobs, the CCC warns.

Key pieces of legislation designed to reduce the risk of floods by improving drainage from new properties have not been properly implemented, despite being recommended by the 2008 Pitt review into the floods the previous year, which left 13 people dead and 45,000 homes flooded.

A trend for households paving over their gardens is also exacerbating the risk of flooding, with regulations to ensure that patios and driveways are of a ‘permeable’ design also not being enforced, the CCC said.

"We are committed to addressing the risks from climate change - by increasing awareness and making far-sighted decisions we can address these risks, save money and safeguard our homes and communities for the future.

“We are spending £3.2 billion over the course of this parliament on flood management and protection from coastal erosion which is more than ever before.

“We have also made an unprecedented 6 year commitment to record levels of investment in improving flood defence right up until 2021.”'

1 in 1000...good odds surely?

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Well, let's put it like this..

It's been confirmed that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been destabilized , which means we are committed to at least 6 meters of sea level rise. We are seeing significant increases in floods through extreme events and droughts. And things are not going to get better..

The timeline is currently uncertain, but we could easily see a large chunk of that during this century.

Basically, building any new infrastructure within 10 meters of sea level should be banned. Building houses on flood plains - without putting them on stilts or taking other anti-flood measures - should be banned.

You can see how it may affect you (or at least your descendants) by looking here:

http://flood.firetree.net/

I'm interested to see how they are planning to deal with the Wash expanding as far as Cambridge. Or why we are even thinking of spending money on the Somerset Levels.

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I looked at the ice sheet link, it say 60cm rise, not quote 6M. As to the wash, I always though that we should adopt the Dutch approach ad out a barrage across it? Build a few dykes and windmill/pumps and reclaim the land, as has been suggested a few times before by various engineers. We could then build a new city of a few million people in Cambridgeshire with no loss of farming land

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Similar came up locally with sewerage problems.

The Concil planners deal with infrastructure but the issue of flood risk (for example) is not within their remit and they can't turn down on that basis.

That power lies with the ever-useless Environment Agency who have finally got round to dredging rivers on the Somerset Levels.

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I looked at the ice sheet link, it say 60cm rise, not quote 6M. As to the wash, I always though that we should adopt the Dutch approach ad out a barrage across it? Build a few dykes and windmill/pumps and reclaim the land, as has been suggested a few times before by various engineers. We could then build a new city of a few million people in Cambridgeshire with no loss of farming land

The Thwaites glacier on it's own is 60cm, the rest of the ice sheet adds the rest. The WAIS has collapsed previously with little apparent provocation.

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A rise of 6m without intervention would leave the uk with its current popation, untenable. Far more

Likely is Dutch style intervention which has worked for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. I presume your rule of not less than 10m above sea level will not be enforced in te Netherlands ?

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Well, let's put it like this..

It's been confirmed that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been destabilized , which means we are committed to at least 6 meters of sea level rise. We are seeing significant increases in floods through extreme events and droughts. And things are not going to get better..

The timeline is currently uncertain, but we could easily see a large chunk of that during this century.

Basically, building any new infrastructure within 10 meters of sea level should be banned. Building houses on flood plains - without putting them on stilts or taking other anti-flood measures - should be banned.

You can see how it may affect you (or at least your descendants) by looking here:

http://flood.firetree.net/

I'm interested to see how they are planning to deal with the Wash expanding as far as Cambridge. Or why we are even thinking of spending money on the Somerset Levels.

That study says 200 - 900 years before the effects kick in which far exceeds the expected life of any house being built today so there's no need to ban building within a few metres of sea level.

Building on flood plains is another matter because it adversely affects existing settlements downstream. If there aren't any and somebody wants to buy a house that gets flooded every winter then who am I to stop them?

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That study says 200 - 900 years before the effects kick in which far exceeds the expected life of any house being built today so there's no need to ban building within a few metres of sea level.

Building on flood plains is another matter because it adversely affects existing settlements downstream. If there aren't any and somebody wants to buy a house that gets flooded every winter then who am I to stop them?

I was thinking more infrastructure - Some of our main railway routes are well over 100 years old, and even things like motorways and airports should be expected to be around for over 100+ years.

Which is interesting for the idea of a Boris Island airport.

As far as flood plains go.. It should be far more explicit. As in 'This new development expects to be flooded out every 20 years, and more often under most global warming scenarios'. That would focus minds.

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I was thinking more infrastructure - Some of our main railway routes are well over 100 years old, and even things like motorways and airports should be expected to be around for over 100+ years.

Which is interesting for the idea of a Boris Island airport.

As far as flood plains go.. It should be far more explicit. As in 'This new development expects to be flooded out every 20 years, and more often under most global warming scenarios'. That would focus minds.

Boris's Undersea Airport :lol:

Yes, agree with infrastructure. I would hope that there's more thorough consideration given to a railway line than to twenty "executive" houses but you do never knoe.

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A rise of 6m without intervention would leave the uk with its current popation, untenable. Far more

Likely is Dutch style intervention which has worked for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. I presume your rule of not less than 10m above sea level will not be enforced in te Netherlands ?

The Dutch are already reversing their historic methods of dealing with the sea.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/19/floods-dutch-britain-netherlands-climatechange

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That's okay as long as you can buy food, if we reach a situation were we cannot afford to in competition with china say. Then it is reclaim land, emigrate, or start a war to wipe out the hungry. I would suggest that a 6m rise in sea levels is likely to lead to pretty drastic actions.

Edited by debtlessmanc

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That's okay as long as you can buy food, if we reach a situation were we cannot afford to in competition with china say. Then it is reclaim land, emigrate, or start a war to wipe out the hungry. I would suggest that a 6m rise in sea levels is likely to lead to pretty drastic actions.

The likeliest is that when there is loss of land then food prices start going up, malnutrition and famines then act as the natural population reducers that they always have. The poorest countries will suffer the worst and this will continue until a lower global population carrying level is reached. Malthus.

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The likeliest is that when there is loss of land then food prices start going up, malnutrition and famines then act as the natural population reducers that they always have. The poorest countries will suffer the worst and this will continue until a lower global population carrying level is reached. Malthus.

Try the link I posted earlier about sea level rise maps.. then put it to +7 meters and look at what happens to China.

Oops. Do we really need Shanghai?

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Try the link I posted earlier about sea level rise maps.. then put it to +7 meters and look at what happens to China.

Oops. Do we really need Shanghai?

That's not going to happen in one fell swoop though, it will take hundreds of years if it does happen.

The problem will start more prosaically with sea water inundation reducing the fertility of coastal plains in an erratic manner leading to unexpected shortages and starvation as the food surpluses start running down. I doubt that will be within our lifetimes.

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Try the link I posted earlier about sea level rise maps.. then put it to +7 meters and look at what happens to China.

Oops. Do we really need Shanghai?

Nice! The house I bought in Australia gets a much nicer sea view under +7, +13, +20 etc. floods out the areas where the chavs live too. I think I am going to click the aircon up a few notches.

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Nice! The house I bought in Australia gets a much nicer sea view under +7, +13, +20 etc. floods out the areas where the chavs live too. I think I am going to click the aircon up a few notches.

This one in Sandbanks gets cut off and probably sunk with +3m

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-31583257.html

So there are some upsides..

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If I remember right, most of the population of Bangladesh lives within a few meters of sea level, that's 150million people. But do you think that mass starvation in the third world won't affect us in the modern era? Just look at what happens in Calais when the odd 100 thousand get in difficulties...

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I looked at the ice sheet link, it say 60cm rise, not quote 6M. As to the wash, I always though that we should adopt the Dutch approach ad out a barrage across it? Build a few dykes and windmill/pumps and reclaim the land, as has been suggested a few times before by various engineers. We could then build a new city of a few million people in Cambridgeshire with no loss of farming land

Yeah,but you might affect the views of a few crucial swing voters.

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"Yeah,but you might affect the views of a few crucial swing voters"

Have you been to the region of Cambridgeshire/Lincolnshire adjacent to the wash? I suspect the locals haven't mastered voting yet from the lack of opposable thumbs ..

Edited by debtlessmanc

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Leaving climate industry change out of this for the moment, shouldnt this information be on the conveyancing report before you buy? And so, caveat emptor and all that.

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I think this is the relevant point to the original post. They have asked a bunch of people "are you aware you are on a flood plain?". As an admission that they know this will triple their household insurance premium they say "no"....

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Leaving climate industry change out of this for the moment, shouldnt this information be on the conveyancing report before you buy? And so, caveat emptor and all that.

We had a flooding report as part of the survey when moving in 2006. So, yes..

Before moving, we looked at some new builds.. flat land, river perhaps 100 yards away - typical flood meadow. Suggested to the EA that there might be a flood risk to buying and they were all 'No, no, no, can't possibly happen..'

The only excuse is that unless you happen to be a map geek with an interest in the subject, either you won't understand the risk maps or will tend to skip over them, since you only get the report when you are already a couple of weeks into the whole process.

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We had a flooding report as part of the survey when moving in 2006. So, yes..

Before moving, we looked at some new builds.. flat land, river perhaps 100 yards away - typical flood meadow. Suggested to the EA that there might be a flood risk to buying and they were all 'No, no, no, can't possibly happen..'

The only excuse is that unless you happen to be a map geek with an interest in the subject, either you won't understand the risk maps or will tend to skip over them, since you only get the report when you are already a couple of weeks into the whole process.

A couple of rented cottages I know flooded a few years ago as well as last winter. The owner of one was adamant that it had never flooded until the longer-renting neighbour showed the photographs of the previous flood. So out-and-out lie from the owner passd on to the agent who when asked had said it had never flooded and the flood gates were purely precautionary.

Never believe the verbal assurance you get from the agent, as you didn't.

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