Housebuilders will have to chip in thousands of pounds to pay for flood defence works and drainage if they want to build new houses on a floodplain, warns a planning policy unveiled this week.
The guidance (PPG25) says low-risk land must be considered for development first, but if such sites are not available, adequate flood protection must be provided before construction goes ahead.

The government decided to revise its flood defence guidance last year after some of the worst weather on record and now claims that the new measures could save insurers £30,000 for each home built.

The move, likely to be welcomed by the insurance industry and local authorities, will come as a blow to builders with development land on floodplains.

The DTLR is also considering making it standard practice to call in plans if planners do not heed flood-risk objections from the Environment Agency.

Guidance on sustainable drainage will be published in the autumn and amendments to the Building Regulations will encourage the use of sustainable drainage systems.

The DTLR is also working on supplementary guidance on how to renovate buildings damaged by flooding.

The House Builders Federation said that its members already contributed to flood-risk areas and claimed that existing town houses were often more at risk than new housing on floodplains.

The HBF also warned that the guidance could disguise the need for proper flood defences at national and regional level, and could scupper safe development by further slowing down the planning system.