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The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has released figures that show where homes are being built including those on flood risk zones and potentially contaminated land.
Its figures for 2016-17 show that more homes were built on flood risk areas and the green belt.

More than one in ten (11%) of new residential homes were built within areas of high flood risk. This is an increase on 9% recorded the year before. However, it could be more according to Future Climate Info Urban Homebuyer Flood Risk Report.

Geoff Offen, managing director at Future Climate Info, said: “The government notes more than one in ten new homes in 2016-2017 were built on sea or river flood plains which are prone to flooding. But with more granular information available, it’s possible that even more homes may be susceptible to flooding.

“Our data shows that around one in seven homes in 2016-2017 were at risk of flooding, a figure that climbs to one in three in some urban areas.”

Previously developed land

MHCLG said that over half (56%) of new residential addresses were created on previously developed land, which is 5% down on 2015-16. The main previous land use categories are:

  • Agricultural land – 16%
  • Other developed use – 14%
  • Industrial and commercial land – 13%

Offen commented: “As we build, more secrets beneath our feet may become apparent too late. According to government figures, nearly half of new build properties were built on previously developed land in 2016-17, which means these homes could lie on contaminated land, unstable ground or in areas that exceed legal air quality levels. Homebuyers will only become aware of all risks by assessing an environmental report and then following its advice.

“The risks of flooding, subsidence, sink holes and contaminated soil can all leave unprepared homeowners out of pocket every year. It’s crucial that all homebuyers are informed, prepared and aware of the risks around them.”

The MHCLG report also showed that 2% of new homes were built within the green belt in 2016 but that doubled in 2017 to 4%.

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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