The leader of B&NES Council, Cllr Paul Crossley, has signed up to a new national campaign called Flood Free Homes to help ensure that local homes aren’t at high risk of flooding.
The campaign wants to ensure that by 2025, no home is at high risk of flooding and has three main aims:
- To ensure that by 2025 £1bn per year is spent on managing flood risk to keep pace with climate change.
- A zero tolerance of inappropriate new developments in areas at risk of flooding.
- Cross party consensus on ambitious long term solutions that manage all types of flood risk.
Flooding has long been recognised as the greatest natural threat the UK faces.
Environment Agency data shows that around 2 million homes in England and Wales are at flood risk, with over 500,000 of these at ‘moderate’ risk or greater, and around 2.4 million additional homes at risk of surface water flooding.
Bath & North East Somerset Council has already pledged to reduce of the risk of potentially devastating flooding, making a formal resolution last January stating:
“We recognise the seriousness of flooding throughout our area and that people look to the Council to take action to minimise the risk from flood waters and debris.
“We are committed to take action to limit the damage to our homes and businesses from such events and work actively with our partners and government agencies.”
The Council has just started work with the Environment Agency on a £6.22 million project to transform the riverside in Bath and improve flood defences.
The Bath Quays Waterside project involves flood mitigation and defence works to the north and south banks of the River Avon, between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge.
Expected to be completed by the end of 2016, the project will reduce flood risk for over 100 existing residential and commercial properties; reconnect Bath to its riverside with a new riverside park, and enable the development of Bath Quays, a new office and creative quarter.
In order to create these new riverside spaces, new flood walls are being put in and the river widened to improve flow during times of flooding.
Cllr Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), said: “I wholeheartedly support this campaign. The Bath Quays Waterside project is just one example of how Bath & North East Somerset Council is taking constructive action to minimise the risk of flooding, which can prove so devastating to our homes, businesses and communities.”
Flood Free Homes has been launched by the Association of British Insurers, Friends of the Earth, the National Flood Forum, Know Your Flood Risk, the Property Care Association’s Flood Protection Group and the BRE Centre for Resilience.