Tuesday, November 4, 2008

46,000 Ulster homes built on flood plains

Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland): Thousands of homes are at risk of damage if the torrential rains seen in August return. New flood maps launched by Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew and Environment Minister Sammy Wilson today reveal that 46,000 properties have been built on river and coastal flood plains.

However, the Agriculture minister stressed that many of these are still at low risk of flooding, thanks to their elevation within the plain or the protection of flood defences. Meanwhile, the Environment Minister promised that his Department would be consulting Rivers Agency when a development plan is being drawn up so land is not zoned that could be susceptible to flooding — unless there are “exceptional circumstances” or it is decided to put mitigation measures in place.

“It is important to stress that, in terms of land use planning, the Strategic Flood Map identifies areas where my Department will ensure the risk of flooding is fully considered as part of the planning process,” Mr Wilson said. “The purpose of the map is to show those places where there is a 1 in 100 chance of river flooding”…

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