Almost one-tenth of English homes built in the past decade are in a flood zone

New analysis by the home insurer, Aviva, reveals that 8% of new homes built in England in the past 10 years are in a flood zone, the equivalent of almost 110,000 homes.

Since 2013/14, 1,355,330 new homes have been completed in England, with 8% — 109,017 homes — built in national flood zone three, which represents the highest risk from flooding. 

Some of these properties will be protected by flood defence systems but some locations may have no defences in place.

This is despite homes built since 2009 being excluded from the Flood Re reinsurance scheme which was set up in 2016 to improve the affordability and accessibility of flood insurance to homes in high-risk areas.

Furthermore, 59% of residents of homes built in the last five years believe their home is at risk from flooding, compared with 41% of residents of homes built pre-2018.

Worryingly, one in five (19%) new build home residents believe the location of their home is unsuitable due to the potential risk from flooding.

In addition, almost two-thirds (61%) of new home residents are concerned about the impact of heat on their home, compared with 46% of residents of homes built pre-2018. 

Storms are also a concern, cited by 62% of new build residents (51% of residents of homes built before 2018).

Jason Storah, CEO for UK and Ireland general insurance at Aviva, said: “It has been heartbreaking to see the devastation caused by flooding during recent winter storms.

“Sadly, some homes have flooded multiple times and inevitably, many affected properties will be on newer developments.

“Not only are these newly built homes at high risk, they also face the prospect of repeated flooding and may not be protected by flood defences to prevent or limit flood damage.

“Insurance can play its part by restoring homes and offering financial reassurance, but it cannot replace cherished family possessions or prevent the emotional impact that floods bring. 

“It is paramount that any plans for new homes include strengthened rules to prevent the development of buildings in current and potential flood zones.

“But in some low-lying parts of the country, this is more difficult.

“In these cases, flood resilience should be made mandatory in planning rules and built in from the outset.”

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