ABI Says U.K. Govt.’s. Flood Management Strategy “Flowing in the Right Direction”

March 28, 2005

The recent announcement by the U.K. Government revealing a new strategy for flood management provides “a welcome step towards ensuring that the increasing flood risk is effectively managed,” said the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The “announcements show that the Government is putting in place the right policies to reduce the risk of flooding. The policies are flowing in the right direction”, stated Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance. “We are particularly pleased that this new strategy proposes a stronger planning system, with a greater role for the Environment Agency and increased investment in flood management.”

The ABI bulletin noted that the organization has long been calling for many of the measures the government proposes. These include the following:
– The decision by the ODPM to review existing planning guidance (PPG25) to help local authorities minimize the flood risk from new developments.
– Looking to make the Environment Agency a statutory consultee in the planning system to reduce significantly the number of inappropriate developments in flood -risk areas. In the past, the Environment Agency could be consulted on less than 60% of applications in the floodplain.
– Defra’s commitment to fund pilot studies to produce integrated drainage plans for urban areas, and support research on flood – resistant building techniques.

“The Government’s ambitious plans for new housing depend on managing the flood risk, and the continued availability of property insurance. Insurers want to continue to provide flood insurance to as many of the UK’ s two million flood vulnerable property owners as possible,” Starling continued. “The Government’s commitment to developing and sustaining an effective flood management strategy will enable insurance to remain readily available and competitively priced to the vast majority.”

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