Despite improvements in the management of flood risk and the introduction of new regulations, losses from flooding remain high. An important driver is the continuation of new assets being built in flood prone locations. Over the last decade over 120,000 new homes in England and Wales have been built in flood prone areas. While the yearly rates of new homes in flood risk areas have increased only moderately on the national level, significant differences between and within regions as well as between different flood types exist. Using property level data on new homes built over the last decade and information on the socio-economic development of neighbourhoods, we analyse spatial clusters of disproportional increase in flood exposure from recently built homes and investigate how these patterns evolve under different future climate scenarios. We find that a disproportionately higher number of homes built in struggling or declining neighbourhoods between 2008 and 2018 is expected to end up in areas at a high risk of flooding over their lifetime as a result of climate change. Based on these findings, we discuss issues regarding future spending on flood defences, affordability of private level flood protection and insurance as well as the role of spatial planning for adaptation in the face of climate change.

Surminski, Swenja and Rözer, Viktor (2021) Current and future flood risk of new build homes across different socio-economic neighbourhoods in England and Wales. Environmental Research Letters. ISSN 1748-9326 (In Press)

Keep in touch with the Grantham Research Institute at LSE
Sign up to our newsletters and get the latest analysis, research, commentary and details of upcoming events.