The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister wish to see a reduction in the amount of inappropriate new development in flood risk areas. Local authorities should steer development away from areas at highest risk of flooding when allocating land in plans, and where development does proceed local authorities should ensure it is subject to appropriate precautionary measures. The susceptibility of land to flooding is a material consideration in determining planning applications. Policies are set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 25: "Development and Flood Risk".
The Environment Agency is monitoring data on land allocations made by local authorities in their plans for development inside and outside areas designated at risk of flooding in the South East. The latest figures are reported in the Environment Agency's State of the Environment 2004 report for the South East region and are likely to be updated as part of the next State of the Environment report.