Homeowners can see if their property is in any danger
6:00pm Friday 20th December 2013 in News
WHILE the memories of last year’s floods in Malmesbury are still fresh, homeowners are being urged to check a new flood map to see if their homes are in danger.
The map, produced and released by the Environment Agency this week, highlights that areas around the River Avon in Malmesbury are at a higher risk of flooding from standing water.
It also identifies that less obvious areas further away from the river, such as on the Parklands and Reeds Farm Estate, are categorised in the same ‘high risk’ band.
The Environment Agency hopes the maps will better prepare communities for flooding, but there are concerns insurance premiums could be affected as a result.
Town councillor Ray Sanderson chairs the flood alleviation working party that was set up to try to avoid a repeat of last November’s floods.
“I think the maps are a good idea as long as they are a true picture of what could happen,” he said.
“People want to be aware and know to what extent the flooding risk is so they can prepare themselves.
“I think that classifying Reeds Farm Estate as high risk is over-the-top.
“There is ground water flooding there, which I know is quite contentious because if Gleeson was given permission to build the houses there then they would have sorted it.”
Households that have been categorised in a high flood risk area, where they were previously at ‘medium’ or ‘low’ level, now have the responsibility of notifying their insurance companies, which could result in an increase to their premiums.
Town and Wiltshire councillor Simon Killane said the maps were ‘fantastic’ as a resource to help communities identify areas that were most in need of flood prevention support, such as with river clearing and attenuation ponds.
He said: “Anything that adds to our knowledge of potential flood risks is so important. People have had flood problems when they haven’t had them before, or not in their time living there, and then when it happens they worry about the property’s value dropping, but we have to tell it like it is.”
He said the maps were useful for directing planning applications and the town’s Neighbourhood Plan.
Surface water mapping, like that produced by the Environment Agency, involves cutting edge technology, with flood experts using models to observe how rain water flows, and producing maps that take local topography, weather patterns and historical data into account.
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