Flood risk checks for thousands of Norfolk homes

Thousands of homes in Norfolk are being surveyed to discover if they are at susceptible to flooding, following studies which revealed the risks in Norwich and Drayton.

Norfolk County Council became responsible in 2010 for managing flood risks and, as reported in the EDP, carried out a survey which revealed almost 3,000 homes in Norwich and 300 in Drayton could be under threat in the event of torrential rain.

A report presented to county councillors last year showed 100,077 properties in Norfolk were at risk from flooding and investigations are under way to establish how serious surface water flooding could be.

Surface water flooding happens when the ground, rivers and drains cannot absorb heavy rainfall.

The council's cabinet will meet todayto agree a plan to manage the risks in Norwich and Drayton, which should unlock some government funding.

But, other parts of the county are also being studied. A final report on King's Lynn and West Norfolk has been submitted, while mapping in Great Yarmouth is due to be completed by January next year.

Further water management plans for Breckland, North Norfolk and Sotuh Norfolk could follow if agreed with district councils.

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But Bill Borrett, cabinet member for environment and waste at Norfolk County Council has written to the government raising his concerns that people whose homes are in areas where surface flooding is identified as a problem could find it harder to get insurance.

In his letter Mr Borrett states: 'As a lead local flood authority, our experience in disseminating information to the affected communities highlights the difficulties our residents are faced with.

'Whilst greater information on the risk should empower them to make informed decisions, it invariably exposes them to an acknowledgement of risk which an insurer may take into consideration when reviewing their insurance cover.

'It is essential that a formal agreement is reached for insurers to take into account any mitigation that is delivered in areas of risk.'

He received a letter back from flooding minister Richard Benyon, saying the government continued to invest to reduce the risk of flooding to those households at most risk and in the most deptived areas.

And just last week it emerged the government is looking at two proposals put forward by the insurance industry which would see cover available to all households, regardless of flood risk.