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Clogged up Britain The ABI calls for the overhaul of the UKs drainage system

The ABI today called for action to reduce the growing problem of surface water flooding. Around 80,000 properties are currently at very high risk of being flooded due to inadequate drainage and an increase in concreted areas. Every year 6,000 homes are hit by sewage flooding. Two-thirds of the damage from last summer's floods was caused by surface water flooding.

In its response to the Government's consultation on improving surface water management, the ABI calls on the Government to:

· Introduce a Floods Bill to give the Environment Agency overall responsibility for managing all forms of flooding, including surface water flooding, and to require all local authorities to produce a local surface water management plan. This would include assessing where improvements to drainage are needed. The Bill should also give the Environment Agency and local authorities the power to secure co-operation from other bodies, such as water companies.

· Allocate new money to the Environment Agency and local authorities, in addition to what is allocated for river and coastal flooding, to implement this new approach.

· Require a more sustainable approach to drainage for all new developments.

Justin Jacobs, the ABI's Head of Property, said:

"On of the key lessons from last summer's devastating floods is that we need to rethink how we manage excessive rainfall. A detailed assessment of the risk posed from heavy rainfall and where improvements are needed, a more coordinated approach and, crucially, adequate investment is the only we can haul Britain's Victorian drainage systems into the modern day."

Last updated 01/07/2016