New proposals to reform subsidised flood insurance do too little to reduce risk.
At first glance, Foxglove Mead in Chertsey looks like any other housing estate being built in Britain. As many as 98 homes, some worth £600,000 ($1m), are planned. But step onto the show-home’s newly laid lawn, where your correspondent felt his feet sink into the waterlogged soil, and questions over the suitability of this site become clear: these buildings are in an area at high risk of flooding. Pools of water from floods that last month inundated nearby houses (see picture) still cover neighbouring meadows.
Sadly, this is but one of many new residential developments going up on floodplains and tide-swept coasts around the world: 21% of new homes built in London since 2010 are in high-risk areas. Instead of discouraging the building of flood-prone houses, governments are unwittingly encouraging homeowners to flush money down the drain.
The full article is available on The Economist website.