Some 182,000 households in England are now better defended against flood risk, according to a report assessing the watchdog’s performance published by the Environment Agency.
That figure exceeds the three-year government-set target by 37,000 homes. Highlighted in the report is the fact that 98 per cent of planning decisions in flood risk areas took full account of Environment Agency advice.
In addition, a record number of households in the highest flood risk areas are now registered on the free national flood warning service.
The report pointed out that more than 300 flood defence schemes across the country were completed or upgraded in the past three years by the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards.
Projects included a new £38m scheme to protect 3,500 households in Carlisle, a £10m refurbishment of the Hull Tidal Barrier and a £1.1m sea defence between Seasalter and Graveney in Kent.
The report also showed that work has begun (and in many cases has been completed) to restore 34,000 hectares of habitat in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), against a target of 24,000 hectares.
Dr Paul Leinster, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: “Many communities are now at a lower risk of flooding from rivers and the sea as a result of major improvements to defences.”
8 September 2011