Homes at risk of coastal erosion should be given compensation, according a new report by MPs that calls on the Government to double spending on flood protection to £1 billion every year.
By Louise Gray, Environment CorrespondentPublished: 7:00AM GMT 25 Mar 2010
Over the next 20 years, 200 homes are likely to be made unsafe to live in due to coastal erosion and an additional 2,000 could become at risk, largely as a result of climate change.
But at the moment home owners who lose their property to the sea have no guarantee of compensation.
The Environmental Audit Committee said the Government should put in place measures to ensure that home owners can move on.
Tim Yeo, Chairman of the EAC, said the compensation formula should be based on how long the owner has lived in the property so that it does not apply to people who were aware of the risk when they brought the house. He also suggested developers and local authorities that encourage homes to be built on flood plains or eroding coastlines should contribute to compensation.
A figure for compensation has not be been decided, although the Government has suggested £6,000 to help home owners deal with removal costs and demolition.
In a report on the risks faced by Britain from climate change, Mr Yeo said the Government will have to spend a lot more on dealing with floods and extreme weather events.
At the moment the country spends £600 million per annum on flood protection but he said this should increase to £1 billion by 2035.
Mr Yeo also said the UK also needs to be better prepared for heatwaves and droughts.
"For a long time the climate change debate has focused on reducing carbon emissions, but adapting to the inevitable impacts of rising global temperatures is equally critical, " he said.
"Even if all the world's power stations were switched off tomorrow past emissions mean that some climate change will still take place and we will face more floods, droughts and heatwaves."