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Could flood risks impinge government house-building plans?

Could flood risks impinge government house-building plans?

Environmental charity Greenpeace is concerned that the UK government's house-building plans may be impinged by significant flood risks.Recent weeks have seen parts of the country devastated by flooding, leaving many residents without a home for Christmas.This autumn, chancellor George Osborne announced that millions of pounds of government funding would be invested in the construction of around 400,000 new homes throughout Britain.However, Greenpeace has found that many of these new properties would be built in areas at significant risk of flooding, potentially making them unsafe, or at least extremely problematic, to be inhabited.Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK's chief scientist, commented: "The current flood emergency isn't even over yet and the government is already storing up the next one. Rushing to build thousands of new homes in flood-risk areas while at the same time cutting flood protection staff is a recipe for disaster."Using Flood Risk Maps obtained from the Environment Agency, the charity found that almost half (nine out of 20) of Mr Osborne's proposed new housing zones would be situated in parts of the country at risk - either partially or fully - of flooding.What's more, due to a new government flood insurance scheme that is soon to be introduced, properties in these at-risk zones would be excluded from cover, leaving residents in an unfortunate position.Last week, the government pledged a £51 million fund to help support those affected by the floods in the north-east of England, but Greenpeace argues that parliament should be focusing on making sure new homes are not at the same risk to prevent a similar problem from arising again.Mr Parr added: "When it comes to energy, flood defences and other big infrastructure projects, we need the government's hands to start following what the government's mouth is saying."He believes that at present, parliament often acts of its own accord rather than ensuring there is a long-term plan in place to prevent homes from being built in flood-risk areas. 

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