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Stricter planning laws required or homes will be uninsurable

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by Kay Mitchell
Stricter planning laws required or homes will be uninsurable

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has warned that stricter planning laws must be enforced or millions of homes could be uninsurable.

The insurance trade body warned that over 30% of the 3 million new homes the Government planned to build by 2020 would be on a flood plain.

In the last 12 months alone, 13major developments have been given the go-ahead in spite of advice from the Environment Agency that they would be at risk from flooding.

The ABI has warned that unless stricter planning controls are introduced, a rising number of homes will become unsaleable, uninsurable and uninhabitable.

The ABI’s assistant director of property, Justin Jacobs, said the Government’s ambitious housing plans are in danger unless we reduce the flood risk.

The ABI said in spite of the Environment Agency being consulted on new developments, as a statutory requirement, planning permission was still being given despite the agency highlighting flood risks.

The ABI added that unless flood risk was taken into account for new developments, the cost of insuring new properties would continue to get more expensive, while some homeowners could find it increasingly difficult to obtain cover at all.

On several occasions, the ABI has urged for stronger planning controls and it has also requested that the Government develop a 25-year strategy to manage the UK’s growing risk from floods, with an investment programme that reflects climate change and the real risk of flooding from rivers, the sea and drainage systems.

According to the ABI, last summer’s floods will cost the industry in excess of £3 billion and the group added that over half of the 15,000 households that were in temporary accommodation have now been able to return home, while 75% of people are expected to be back in their own homes next month.

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News posted: February 14, 2008

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