War is waged on developers who target sites with no flood defence

As crisis worsens, councils say budget cuts have left them exposed to private contracts

Residents today described the “heartbreaking” damage heavy rain wrought on its flood-ravaged streets and homes - as the body of an elderly woman was pulled from a house.

Heavy rain continued to cause chaos across Britain today as anger turned against developers who target vulnerable sites for new housing developments without paying for the necessary flood defences.

As David Cameron visited the worst-affected areas in Devon, local residents complained that developers had won permission to build new homes on sites already at risk of flooding.

Properties in Feniton, East Devon, devastated by flooding in 2008, were once again evacuated as water cascaded from a field where developers Wainhomes have won a controversial ruling to build 50 new homes, despite evidence that new developments can exacerbate local flooding problems.

Roger Giles, Devon County Councillor, said: “Feniton has a long history of flooding and people are angry about this new development. It is on elevated land and the water is cascading down from it like a waterfall.

“Feniton is being targeted by developers but what we really need is the new flood defence scheme. But the cost is estimated at £1.6m and last year East Devon District Council cut its flood defence budget.”

The Planning Inspectorate approved the development, in the face of opposition from village residents and councillors, because the council had failed to meet a new Government obligation to provide suitable building sites to meet local housing needs. Building work is due to commence next month.

Mr Cameron promised to take a “tough approach” on negotiations with insurers over homes in danger of flooding after he met householders in the village of Buckfastleigh, which was struck by flash flooding at the weekend.

Up to 200,000 high-risk properties could be priced out of affordable cover when a deal struck in 2000 between the then Labour government and the Association of British Insurers ends next summer. The Government has been in talks for two years but as yet an agreement has not been reached.

“I’m sure we will do a deal,” Mr Cameron said. “We need to take a tough approach frankly and it’s important insurance companies do what they are meant to, which is provide insurance to households. We are going to make sure that happens.”

Dr Tim Harries, a research fellow in flood risk at Kingston University in London, said developers needed to do more to secure homes against extreme weather events. “They need to elevate homes and provide space below where water can drain,” he said.

Today the body of an elderly woman was found in a flooded home in north Wales and 500 residents forced to evacuate their properties after the River Elwy broke its banks.

Some residents were rescued by lifeboats and a pregnant woman was brought out the window of her property by British Red Cross volunteers.

In nearby Ruthin, residents prepared to flee after Denbighshire County Council warned that up to 400 properties are potentially at risk.

The Environment Agency said 191 flood warnings are in force across the UK, with 960 homes having suffered flooding since last Wednesday.

In North Yorkshire, more than 50 houses in Pickering were under threat whilst officials monitored levels on the River Ouse in York.

The Environment Agency warned that levels in the River Nene in Northamptonshire had “risen significantly” and added that “large, slow responding rivers” – particularly the Thames, Trent and Severn – would continue to rise over the next few days.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
News
i100(More than you think)
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
News
i100
News
people
News
Tony Blair and David Cameron side by side in 2006
people
News
news

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accountant

£25000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join...

Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Executive - Software

£20000 - £25000 per annum + 55,000 OTE + benifits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Software Sa...

Argyll Scott International: 2x Service Desk Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?