Skip to main content

Housing: Floods

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps her Department is taking to encourage developers to use water resilient flooring and fittings in houses built in areas with a high risk of flooding; (156835)

(2) what steps her Department is taking to support the development of raised level flooring to counter the effects of flooding.

On 15 May Communities and Local Government published a technical guide, “Improving the Flood Resilient Performance of New Buildings—Flood resilient construction.” This guide provides information on how homes can be constructed so that, if they are flooded, it should be easier to clean and repair them and enable early reoccupation. This guide includes information on flood resilient flooring, threshold and floor levels. The Department will consider the options for further action in relation to the flood performance of buildings in the light of Sir Michael Pitts’ inquiry into the effects of the summer floods.

Meanwhile all development is subject to Planning Policy Statement 25, “Development and Flood Risk (PPS25)” which aims to locate development away from flood risk whenever possible. In those areas where virtually all land is within high flood risk areas and there are few, if any, low risk sites for development, PPS25 imposes new requirements for resilience that ensure that buildings in higher risk areas are safe and less susceptible to flood damage.

The mitigation process described in PPS25 includes the use of resilient or resistant construction. With regard to raising floor levels, while this can assist, it is not without adverse consequences: raised floors can make access and egress more difficult, especially for older people or the infirm; placing buildings on mounds can displace flood water, causing problems elsewhere; raising buildings can create a void under the building where flood water accumulates, bringing problems of removing flood water and contaminants after the flood subsides.