5 million homes are at risk of flooding in the UK - how can we mitigate this risk?

Luke Pollard MP led a discussion on flood mitigation measures in the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum’s (WSBF) second evidence session on 26th May. 

Joining us were speakers:

The session began with attendees noting that around 5 million homes within the UK are at risk of flooding, with some of the poorest communities at risk of flooding and a significant proportion of households at risk of being flooded multiple times. They noted that more needs to be done to address not only the risks as they stand today, but also the future risks in a changing climate and ecology. The extent to which hard paving increases surface runoff unsustainably, highlighting the need for sustainable drainage systems, was remarked upon, and it was noted that these changes require the inclusion of fairness, equality, levelling up and a focus towards social justice to direct future policy.

In light of recent events, an increase in investment is needed to help water companies prevent raw sewage being discharged into rivers. A shift in attitude towards renovation of existing buildings is needed with the suggestion being to include water companies and relevant stakeholders as statutory consultees for, not only new builds, but renovations of existing buildings, with regulation brought in to ensure that advice from the Environment Agency is followed. Bringing flooding considerations up at the planning stage was suggested as a way to reduce the effects of flooding downstream. The need to bring in agencies and stakeholders who are in a position to best utilise funding to effect change was also highlighted.

We continue gathering evidence on Wednesday 15th June with our third evidence session, chaired by inquiry chair Baroness McIntosh of Pickering.