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More homes could mean more flooding in Kent, councillors warn

PUBLISHED: 15:25 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:25 16 November 2018

Scenes like this could become more commonplace due to rising sea levels. Photo: EA

Scenes like this could become more commonplace due to rising sea levels. Photo: EA

Archant

Councillors claim more people in Kent will feel the effects of climate change if the demands from central government to build “huge numbers” of homes are met.

They fear there will be more flooding in the county due to increased demands on the sewer systems.

The Met Office predicts there will be a higher chance of flash floods and storms brought on by climate change and a rise in levels of carbon dioxide.

The scrutiny committee at Kent County Council discussed plans to prepare for the effect of climate change on Thursday, November 8.

A council report by the chairman of the flood risk management committee, Cllr Tony Hills, states: “Climate change is undeniably having the effect of increasing the threat of flooding at the same time as major housing developments are taking place in Kent and the south east.

“The general picture of preparedness is encouraging. Sudden flash flooding is a growing risk and is responded to very thoroughly whenever and wherever it occurs, whilst preparations for major coastal and fluvial floods and reservoir inundation are constantly being updated and tested.

“At the same time, research of a very high standard is being carried out by different agencies and the information gathered is widely disseminated amongst them and shared with communities.”

Chairman of the scrutiny committee Cllr Andy Booth (Con) praised the report but also raised his concerns about the effect of housing.

He said: “There are extraordinary levels of pressure put on both county and districts for building houses and homes.

“These are huge numbers that we are talking about and contemplating.

“Some districts will have already signed up to that and some are going through that process either through their plan or negotiations with the planning inspectorate. This affects the delivery of water services and the management of flood risk.

“When you are looking at areas with risk of flooding there are certain areas that have not been taken into consideration.”

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