A £2.3bn six-year flood defence programme was announced in December. Some 47 new schemes have now been added to the long-term investment programme and work will start on another 165 flood defence projects earlier than previously announced.
Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “We’ve already protected 230,000 homes from the risk of flooding and coastal erosion so far this Parliament. We’re now bringing forward more money to protect thousands more homes and businesses sooner than originally planned, as part of our long-term economic plan.
In the northwest, more than 2100 properties will be protected by the development of the Fairhaven and Church Scar Coast Protection scheme in Fylde, which is now scheduled to start three years earlier than previously planned.
In the southeast, the Southsea Coastal Flood and Erosion Risk Management scheme, which will improve the standard of protection to more than 2,400 properties in Portsmouth, is now scheduled to start development more than two years earlier.
In Yorkshire, the development of the River Foss Flood Risk Management project will help protect up to 1,500 properties from surface water and river flooding.
Environment Agency chairman Sir Philip Dilley said: “This programme of more than 1,500 flood risk management schemes will significantly reduce flood risk to more than 300,000 properties in England by 2021, benefiting people, the economy and the environment. Government funding has also been brought forward meaning that over 30,000 properties will benefit from reduced flood risk earlier than originally planned.”
British Property Federation chief executive Melanie Leech said: “While welcome, this extra money will be little consolation to the millions of business and homeowners who face being excluded from the Government’s affordable flood insurance scheme, Flood Re.
“Flood does not discriminate, so it is simply unfair to leave businesses, leaseholders and families living in the private rented sector to sink or swim on the open market. In particular, people who own their own flats will wonder why they should be denied access to affordable buildings insurance under the new scheme, while those who own their own house will not.”