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New local developments must build in flood defences

New builds must have flood management built into “every stage” of development, flooding expert David Balmforth has said.

He said that the UK can no longer rely on a “defend at all costs” approach to protecting structures and that a fundamental shift is required “at the heart of the way we plan, develop and design our cities”.

Balmforth stressed that planning for increased flood risk was crucial. “It is not a question so much of where we build, but what we build,” Balmforth said.

Space for floodwater must be planned into urban areas, he said. Future developments should move back from rivers and flood pathways and storage areas should be identified, he added.

Balmforth was speaking at an ICE East Midlands event earlier this month. The East Midlands has the fourth highest number of properties at risk of flooding in the UK. An estimated 295,000 properties are at risk, about 12 per cent of the region’s homes and premises, according to research by the Environment Agency.

Around 80 local industry representatives attended the event at the University of Nottingham.


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