Building (Flood Plains)

Transport, Local Government and the Regions written question – answered on 7th November 2001.

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Photo of Mr Jonathan Sayeed Mr Jonathan Sayeed Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many houses were built on flood plains in the last year; and what percentage this is of the total number of houses built.

Photo of Sally Keeble Sally Keeble Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions

The latest information on new house construction and its relationship to flood-risk areas was published in "Land use Change in England: No. 16", in July 2001. This showed that in 1998 about 135,000 new dwellings were constructed, of which about 14,500 (11 per cent. of the total) were within the indicative flood plain as shown on maps published by the Environment Agency in December 2000. Many of the new houses in flood-risk areas were constructed behind adequate flood defences. For example 37 per cent. of new houses in London were in flood-risk areas that are largely defended to a very high standard as a result of the Thames Barrier.

For the 10 years from 1989–98, 9 per cent. of the land changing to residential use and 10 per cent. of the almost 1.4 million new dwellings built were within the indicative flood plains. This compares to the 12 per cent. of all land in England that is within the indicative flood plains.

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