Government gives a nod to flooding in National Infrastructure Plan

The government will invest £2.3bn in flood defence projects between now and 2020, according to the National Infrastructure Plan published today.

By Samera Owusu Tutu

02 Dec 2014

The investment — just over 15% of the planned spend for road improvements — will be split between 1400 schemes with the aim of protecting at least 300,000 homes and preventing over £30bn in economic damages.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency (EA) have seen flood defence budgets squeezed in recent years, and required an emergency bailout of £270m during the winter floods of 2014.

At the beginning of November the National Audit Office (NAO) flagged Defra’s lack of funding for flood risk management as a problem, despite it forcing Defra and EA to form “robust” prioritising processes in response.

Now several major projects will benefit from the planned funding, including Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, which will receive £42m; Humber Estuary, which will receive £80m; and Tonbridge, Yalding and the surrounding communities, receiving £17m.

The National Infrastructure Plan also outlines funding and development for housing.

Commenting on the impact of the planned changes, Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander said: “Good quality infrastructure is vital for the economic well-being of this country. Every part of the country needs to be able to move people, goods, data and power, quickly and easily, and to protect itself from flooding. That is what our pioneering focus on better infrastructure seeks to achieve.”


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