Thousands of new homes approved in areas at most risk of flooding in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

A new study has revealed that nearly 5,000 new homes have been approved in areas at the highest risk of flooding in Yorkshire and the East Midlands this year alone. 

Hull, Doncaster, Boston and North Lincolnshire all appear on the at-risk list, with insurers now calling on the government to reform planning rules around building on floodplains. 

Planning permission has been granted for 2,500 homes on the Lincolnshire Lakes site near Scunthorpe, which will rise to 6,000 when the project is complete, but the county council said not a single brick will be laid until it has completed all work to minimise flood disruption. 

The leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Cllr Rob Waltham, said: "Most criticism comes from new housing developments in the fact that the infrastructure comes afterwards, and that people have to live with the consequences of frankly poor planning. 

"The whole of North Lincolnshire, wherever you look in terms of moving forward, sea level growth, it is all a challenge to develop. Does that mean we can’t develop? Well clearly there are countries right across the world and areas of our own that clearly we need to reconcile to make sure that we can deliver them, but we can deliver it with the infrastructure first.”

Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy is campaigning for an across the board policy when it comes to making planning rules. 

She said: “We know the way that water flows, that we could have flooding in one area and they could be absolutely fine, it comes downstream and hits another part of the country, so even if you have strict rules about flooding, if your neighbours don’t have strict rules about flooding, you’re going to suffer because of it.

"And this is why the rules need to be strict for everyone in the country, even if you live in an area that doesn’t flood, you still need to have the same strict rules as everyone else."

Martin Milliner from LV= insurance said: "This is bigger than one insurer or one council, this is a nationwide crisis we are trying to avoid here. By building more homes to solve one crisis, in effect we are seeking the ground to create another, and that isn’t the way we should be working together."

A government spokesperson said: “Our national planning policy is clear that flood-plain development should be avoided wherever possible, and protections must be put in place when building in these areas is necessary - we expect local planning authorities to follow this guidance."