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Tens of thousands of new homes built on flood plains, claims insurer

New analysis by insurance giant Aviva reveals that one in every 13 new homes built in England in the last decade sit in a flood zone - the equivalent of almost 110,000 properties.

Aviva says that since 2013/14, some 1,355,330 new homes have been completed in England with eight per cent - or 109,017 - built in areas categorised as national flood zone three, which represents the highest risk from flooding. 

Some of these properties will be protected by flood defence systems but some locations may have no defences in place. This number excludes those built in 2022/23 for which figures are not yet available.


This is despite homes built since 2009 being excluded from the Flood Re reinsurance scheme which was set up in 2016 to improve the affordability and accessibility of flood insurance to homes in high risk areas.

Furthermore, research commissioned by Aviva among residents of homes built in the last five years  reveals that 59 per cent believe their property is at risk from flooding, compared with 41 per cent of residents of homes built pre-2018. Some 19 per cent believe the location of their home is unsuitable due to the potential risk from flooding.

Many new build homes have experienced some damage since they were built. According to the research, one in eight new build residents say their home has been affected by flooding inside and 16 per cent of new homes have suffered a flood in the garden. 

An Aviva spokesperson says: “It has been heartbreaking to see the devastation caused by flooding during recent winter storms. Sadly, some homes have flooded multiple times and inevitably, many affected properties will be on newer developments.

“It’s concerning that almost 110,000 new homes have been built in the last decade in a flood zone, leaving thousands of homeowners and tenants at risk. Crucially, these homes are not covered by the Flood Re insurance scheme and many may have been constructed without flood resilience. Not only are these newly-built homes at high risk, they also face the prospect of repeated flooding and may not be protected by flood defences to prevent or limit flood damage.

“It's worrying that many newly-built homes have already suffered a flood within five years of construction. This suggests the homes may have been built in unsuitable locations to standards which are unable to withstand flooding. But the research reveals wider concerns about construction which could leave these homeowners and tenants at risk from other climate events, including hot, dry weather.

“If we are to prevent more scenes of devastation caused by extreme weather, we need to work collectively to change where and how we build. By building houses that are climate-ready and able to withstand the multiple impacts of climate change we can provide safe and sustainable homes for our future generations.”

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    What a surprise, who would have thought that, just take a look at the 1000s of nomes built in Thamesmead (the name is a clue) all built on natural flood plains. You couldn’t make it up.


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