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Planning: Floods

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations she has received on flood risks to existing householders from nearby large scale developments in flood plains; and if she will seek to arrange discussions with insurance companies on these concerns. (183837)

[holding answer 1 February 2008]: The Government are well aware of the potential impacts large scale developments might have on the risk of flooding to existing householders. To manage these risks and avoid inappropriate development in flood risk areas we published planning guidance on development and flood risk in 2001, and strengthened this with the new Planning Policy Statement (PPS)25 in December 2006. PPS25 requires that the flood risk to and from all new development in flood risk areas, and from development over l ha outside these areas is assessed as part of the application for planning permission.

We also made the Environment Agency a statutory consultee on planning applications and introduced a flooding direction so that planning authorities cannot approve major developments against an objection from the Agency without first referring them to Ministers.

We are committed to working with the insurance industry to maximise the availability of flood insurance for homes and small businesses, and maintain regular contact with the Association of British Insurers to discuss insurance cover for existing properties, and other issues of mutual interest.