Storms: Flood Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 1 December 2023.

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Photo of The Bishop of Sheffield The Bishop of Sheffield Bishop

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the damage caused by flooding following (1) Storm Babet, and (2) Storm Ciarán; and what steps they are taking to combat the increase in the frequency and severity of flooding caused by climate change.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government acknowledges the devastating impact Storm Babet and Storm Ciarán have had on householders and businesses and sympathises with those affected.

The Environment Agency has been inspecting assets that may have been impacted. As of Wednesday 22 November, the Environment Agency have conducted almost 12,000 inspections – these inspections are in response to both storms. During Storm Babet the Environment Agency estimate that around 2,150 properties flooded, and around 97,000 were protected. During Storm Ciarán estimates are that around 180 properties flooded and around 42,000 properties were protected.

This Government is acting to drive down flood risk from every angle. in July 2020 we published a long-term Policy Statement, which sets out our ambition to create a nation more resilient to future flood and coastal erosion risk. Alongside this, the Environment Agency’s National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England and Roadmap to 2026 is helping to create climate resilient places.

The Government is investing a record £5.2 billion over 6 years in flood and coastal erosion schemes to better protect communities across England. In March 2023, the Environment Agency estimated that approximately £1.5 billion of the investment programme had been spent, with over 200 flood risk schemes completed. Around 60,000 properties have benefited from better protection since the start of the current 6-year programme (between April 2021 to March 2023). This takes the total number of properties protected to 374,000 since 2015.

Lastly, Government is investing £200 million in a flood and coastal resilience innovation programme supporting local projects across the country. In September 2023, Defra also announced a new £25 million natural flood management programme. This information can be found on

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