Yvette Cooper says developments on floodplains would be subject to an assessment by the Environment Agency

Housing will have to meet tough rules if it is to be built on floodplains.

Housing minister Yvette Cooper said that developments proposed in flood-risk areas would be subject to an assessment by the Evironment Agency.

Yvette Cooper

Cooper was quizzed on the draft Housing Green Paper, which is being published later today.

A leak suggested of the paper said that it was "not realistic" to prevent all future development in flood-risk areas.

Speaking on the Today programme Cooper said: “It is not realistic to stop building on floodplains. You can't say that there will be no building in somewhere like York, which is built on a floodplain.”

The Environment Agency should be working with local authorities plans at the beginning of the planning process said Coooper. She said that flood defences must be taken into account when assessing risk.

Cooper said that protection had to be increased for places of high risk and said that sustainable urban drainage had an important part to play in future developments.

The housing minister warned that politicians were likely to use the floods as an excuse for nimbyism.

“There is a lot of opposition to more housing. We hope people don’t use the floods as an excuse to play party politics and whip up opposition to more housing.”