Funds to protect homes come flooding in?

Published: 03/12/2014

The Treasury has announced a £2.3bn investment in flood defence projects which aims to protect 300,000 homes in England.

Flooding has caused, in many cases, irreparable damage to homes in recent years and this latest investment hopes to help prevent £30bn of future damage. Amongst the project is the Thames Estuary which is being given a cash injection of £196m while the Humber Estuary will receive £80m.

However there is fierce criticism that this investment is nothing more than a ‘smoke screen’ by a government who slashed the flood protection budget at the start of its term and is designed to disguise that the maintenance of existing defences is being neglected; according to the Committee of Climate Change (CCC) only a quarter of flood defences were being maintained fully.

There is also concern that investing in major projects such as the Thames Estuary will result in other surrounding areas being neglected. Surrey County Council leader David Hodge, for example, fears the Thames project would leave the seven local authorities in the area searching for a further £120m to implement the necessary flood defence for an area already badly affected by flooding.

Lynne McCaffrey, Head of Property, comments:

“Flooding is now a major concern for all property owners and buyers, particularly given the potential exposure now indicated by the CCC.

“When it comes to buying a property it is essential the buyer is aware of the flood risk of their potential home. There are things your conveyancer can do to alert you this, number one being running an Environmental Search. This will reveal if your property is within the vicinity of a floodplain. If it is your conveyancer should then order a flood risk report and supply not only you with a copy but your insurer too to make sure you can adequately insure the property.

“Be aware though that many conveyancers do this on a fee by fee basis, meaning you could end up paying far more than you were originally quoted. At Goldsmith Williams however we include an Environmental Search and any subsequent work required as a result of its findings as part of our all inclusive search fee so you won’t be met with these additional charges further down the line.”

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