Flooding is devastating for those affected – from the initial emotional shock of having possessions or stock destroyed, to the financial strain of leaving your home or closing your business, often for many months. The impact on the wider community can last for months, and in some cases years, after the event itself.
Over 280,000 properties are currently estimated to be at risk of flooding in Scotland. The Scottish Government is committed to managing flood risk and we make at least £42m available each year for a range of actions to help lower flood risk for communities. Thousands of properties will benefit from these actions but there will be many which don’t and it is important that we work together to ensure that we can make our properties more resilient to flooding. Even minor adaptations can help reduce flood damage and potentially the amount of time spent in temporary accommodation.
Of course, where possible, we should avoid new development in areas at significant risk from flooding. However for existing properties at flood risk, we must be both more creative and more pragmatic in our approach to adapting to the increased threat that climate change will bring.
A commitment to address property flood resilience was included in the 2018 Programme for Government because I know it can make a difference for people who live with the fear of flooding every time it rains.
This action plan is welcome. It recommends steps which are required to make sure homes and businesses are more resilient. This includes undertaking research to better understand how properties can benefit from flood resilience measures. It recognises that property owners need to know where to get good advice and stresses the importance of professionals who understand flood risk and property construction having the best possible information.
I would like to thank all the members of the Property Flood Resilience Delivery Group for giving their time and sharing their expertise to ensure that in Scotland we do have an action plan.
We now have a window of opportunity to change the way we think about protecting property from flooding. Greater resilience means less damage.
Roseanna Cunningham Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
“We must be both more creative and more pragmatic in our approach to adapting to the increased threat that climate change will bring.”
Living with flooding: an action plan for delivering property flood resilience in Scotland