Skip to main content

Public Accounts Committee report on flooding in England

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Uncategorized

A flood warning sign, on a closed country road next to water logged fields in the Avon Valley, Hampshire, England. Flooded after an extreme amount of rainfall at the start of 2014

There has been media coverage today of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on flooding in the Telegraph, i News and Yorkshire Post.

The Committee of MPs made the recommendation that house builders should bear the costs of paying to pay for flood mitigation if they choose to build on a floodplain, with the option of building them on raised platforms.

The coverage also mentions the Committee’s finding that the Environment Agency is set to achieve its target to better protect 300,000 homes through its capital investment programme on time and budget.

A UK Government spokesperson said:

As the report recognises, we are investing a record £5.2 billion in 2,000 new flood and coastal defences between 2021-27, better protecting 336,000 properties and building on the significant progress already made to respond to climate change.

We are making sure support is targeted where it is needed most with households in the most deprived areas of England qualifying for funding at over twice the rate of the least deprived areas. We are also consulting on changes to Flood Re, to increase the availability and affordability of flood insurance for homes affected by flooding.

Catherine Wright, Acting Executive Director for Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency, said:

We’re pleased the report recognised we are on track to hit our target of better protecting 300,000 homes from flooding since 2015 on time and on budget, describing this as  a ‘significant achievement’.

Last year, our flood recovery programme inspected over 20,000 assets and, supported by a £120m government investment, all of our assets are winter ready either through repairs or, where these have not been completed, robust contingency plans are in place.

But we agree with the Committee’s findings that we need long-term investment to both build and maintain flood defences if we are to continue to protect and prepare the country from the increased risks that the climate emergency is bringing, with impacts already hitting worst case scenario levels.

Follow Defra on Twitter, and sign up for email alerts here.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by William Hughes-Games posted on

    The UK is just at the beginning of the introduction of beavers into the head waters of rivers that flood. A section should be made a regular feature of all future reports on flooding. The basic question, supported with graphs is, "As beavers populate a given catchment, does a rain event that previously caused a flood peak of X, still cause the same height of flood peak". I would predict that at the beginning, the effect will be small, increasing as beavers spread through the head waters. This sort of information is needed so that people in other catchments and their flood plains can make an informed decision regarding the introduction of beavers into their catchments.

  2. Comment by Michael Hughes posted on

    A miserly investment which will leave thousands suffering untold long term misery while billions are spent on that unwanted ludicrously expensive white elephant HS2. What a pity more Ministers don't suffer the agony of flooding. Then priorities would change.