Canvey Green Belt fields, flooding Insurance and foolhardy development within the Local Plan

Ahead of the looming Castle Point Borough Council new Local Plan publication and it’s consideration for approval by Councillors the Canvey Green Belt Campaign would take this opportunity to suggest that caution should be an appropriate approach to development.

Recent years have seen extreme weather patterns worsening, this was predicted. The climate change sceptics continue to deny the connection between CC and the recent weather and tidal patterns.

Canvey West Fields

Canvey West Fields

However the Insurance industry take a different view. The Government suggest that an agreement between itself and the Insurance Industry has been arrived at, with the announcement of the planned introduction of Flood Re as protection against flooded property.
Lloyds Corporation have some reservations.
Flood Re is not expected to be introduced until 2015 and will have certain exclusions relevant to Local Planning.

There is expectation that caution will again be ignored locally within the CPBC Local Plan.

Further urbanisation of Canvey will cause problematic issues.
Already householders on Canvey Island are experiencing rejection or higher fees for home insurance due to Canvey being a Flood Risk Zone 3a area.

There are proposals that dwellings built since 2009 will be excluded from the protection offered by Flood Re thereby being denied Home Insurance, see below.

This will question the sustainability of large development on the Island and the soundness of a Local Plan with such proposals.
Whether CPBC feel that it is worth “testing” the Planning Inspectorates patience with such soundness testing of a Plan is for our Councillors to decide.

The CPBC Food Risk Assessment and the recent flooding events across the Borough have highlighted issues facing the area. In the case of surface water flooding committees have been assembled and paperwork has been drawn up.

This will not prevent flooding, only financial commitment will achieve this. Drains need surveying, alteration and regular maintenance. Unless money is allocated then more of the same can be expected into the future.

It is obvious by observing the amount of surface water on the fields at west Canvey the value this area of flood plain plays. The major part of Canvey is heavily urbanised and suffers if the pumps are unable to handle flood water during heavy rain.

Unless housing development is on raised ground levels, causing issues for neighbouring residents, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems will not function on Canvey Island.

Housing site selection will form a critical issue for the Inspector examining the Local Plan, and no doubt for the electors at the Borough elections.

Whilst we are not suggesting that no development be allocated to Canvey Island, the Inspector examaning the Core Strategy was clear in noting that only “some” development was required to sustain the town.

Indeed since the decision to withdraw the Core Strategy “some” development has continued on Canvey. A sensible and cautious sustainable approach.

The onus now falls upon our local Councillors.

Extract from the Lloyd’s Insurance Corporation statement on UK Flood Insurance:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (“DEFRA”) and the Association of British Insurers (“ABI”) announced on 27 June 2013 that they had reached an agreement on the future of insurance for flood risk. A Memorandum of Understanding was published along with a DEFRA consultation paper setting out the proposals to establish Flood Re, an industry-run, not-for-profit reinsurance pool.
Flood Re is the insurance industry’s solution to ensuring that “domestic property insurance continues to be widely available and affordable in areas of flood risk without placing unsustainable costs on the policyholders or the taxpayer.”
The pool would operate to reinsure domestic properties in high flood risk areas. Such households are increasingly finding flood insurance unaffordable or unavailable following the shift towards risk-reflective pricing as more robust flood risk data becomes available to insurers.
Eligibility for reinsurance by the pool will be measured by assessing householders’ flood risk premium against new ‘eligibility thresholds’ based on council tax bands. Households whose flood premium exceeds these thresholds will be eligible for the pool and Flood Re will assume 100% of the flood risk in exchange for a premium equal to the relevant eligibility threshold. In the event of a flood claim the insurer would pay the claim directly to the insured and seek reimbursement from Flood Re. It is proposed to exclude some properties from the scheme, including those built since 2009, the highest value properties and “genuinely uninsurable properties”.
Lloyd’s submitted its response to the DEFRA consultation at the beginning of August 2013 in liaison with the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA). Whilst Lloyd’s is generally in agreement with the proposals for establishing Flood Re, it has some concerns around the proposals for managing Flood Re’s own exposure to large losses. In particular, Lloyd’s believes that further work is needed to consider what happens if the cap of a 1:200 aggregate loss is reached, as those insurers reinsured by Flood Re will still be legally liable to meet policyholder’s flood claims. Lloyd’s does not support imposition of the Flood Insurance Obligation.


One response to “Canvey Green Belt fields, flooding Insurance and foolhardy development within the Local Plan

  1. I wish that you would talk/write in plainer English!
    Keep it simple, so that all can actually understand where you stand, and what your point is, please.
    The obvious comment here would be if that should Castle Point or the Govt allow building on ANY flood-plain, then THEY are the ones liable for any insurance increases and this should automatically be past on to them, not the householders, by the insures – thus ensuring that no such building would ever take place!

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