The Environment Angency has today released a report outlining the criticality of environmental services, such as water, sewerage and flood defences in new development.
The report and supporting policy document, 'Hidden Infrastructure: The pressures on environmental infrastructure', says that each new home will need around £20,000 spent to protect environmental services.It describes four key 'pillars' essential to sustainable housing growth: the rightlocation, appropriate long term planning, reducing demand for new infrastructure and securing funding for environmental infrastructure early.EA chief executive Barbara Young acknowledged that towns and cities needed to expand, but said that those communities must have the right environmental infrastructure to support them. 'While we all know that communities can't function without infrastructure such as schools, transport and hospitals, we have to remember that behind every community lies a network of essential environmental services. Without these, our homes and neighbourhoods would be unsustainable. These services provide clean water, handle our waste, drain our sewage and protect us from flooding but they are often taken for granted.''There has been a historic legacy of under-investment and poor maintenance in water and sewer capacity. Last year, nearly 5000 properties were flooded by sewers and more than 3500 million litres of water a day was lost through leaks. There is an urgent need to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and the unavoidable impacts of climate change will increase the risk of flooding,' she said.