£2.3 billion Flood Defence Programme Unveiled

The Government set out how it will spend £2.3 billion of investment committed to flood defences as part of the National Infrastructure Plan 2014, launched at the Institution of Civil Engineers ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

The plan commits £2.3 billion of capital investment to over 1,400 flood defence projects over a six-year programme of investment. As a result, the Government says over 300,000 homes will be better-protected and over £30 billion of economic damage prevented.

Major projects that will benefit include £42 million for the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, £80 million for the Humber Estuary and over £17m for Tonbridge, Yalding and the surrounding communities in Kent. In addition, the government has committed to spend £15.5 million in Somerset on flood defences over the next six years benefiting 7,000 properties, including £4.2 million on the Somerset Levels and Moors.

Further flood defence spending includes:

  • £330 million for Kent, Hampshire & Sussex
  • £193 million for eastern England, including the Thames Estuary
  • £162 million in East and Central Midlands
  • £86 million across the South West
  • £47 million in Central Anglia
  • £51 million across Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire
  • £12 million across Severn & Wye catchment – Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, said: “We are spending £3.2 billion in flood management and defences over the course of this parliament – half a billion pounds more than in the previous parliament. This, combined with the record level of investment in capital we have set out today, will improve protection to 465,000 homes and businesses by the end of the decade.”

Environment Agency Chairman Sir Philip Dilley said: “Our priority is to do as much as we can with every pound of funding from government and local partners, we now expect to provide better flood protection to an additional 300,000 properties in England by the end of the decade. With one-in-six homes in England at risk of flooding, and recognising the risk of flooding can never be eliminated, we would also encourage people to take their own steps to prepare for flooding, for example by signing up to the Environment Agency’s free flood warning service.

The Government says that since the beginning of this parliament, flood defence investment has improved protection to over 230,000 homes and over 580,000 acres of land in England. This new investment will protect at least another 300,000 homes by the end of the decade.

The investment programme was published alongside a new long-term study from the Environment Agency, which shows that the planned investment will reduce overall flood and coastal erosion risk in England.

Read the blog:  Flood Defences – Getting Our Priorities Right

Catch up some early responses the Government’s flood announcement, including the Shadow Environment Secretary, Committee on Climate Change and Friends of the Earth.

Damian Carrington, The  Guardian

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