The following Environment practice note produced in partnership with Argyll Environmental and Burges Salmon provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Flooding has become an increasing environmental risk in the UK, with significant impacts for homeowners and businesses. Flood risk has escalated due to a number of factors including climate change, but perhaps most notably as a result of more extreme rainfall events and urbanisation trends. For example, 2012 was the second wettest year in the UK since records began. Floods such as those in 2012 will become increasingly common in the future, as climate change induces more extreme weather events. For more information about climate change and its impact on flooding, see News Analysis: A new era of climate change reality—a rising tide.
Urban areas are particularly sensitive to flooding as flood water cannot permeate hard standing paving and be stored in the underlying soils. As a result, areas at risk of flooding can no longer be assumed to be just those located in close proximity to rivers and streams.
Flood searches are now an important part of the due diligence process for identifying flood risk at a site-specific level and advising on how best to mitigate and adapt to any such risks.
The Law Society's practice note on flood risk provides guidance on the requirements of flood searches and highlights the importance of considering flood risk at the early stages of property transactions. By understanding risks at
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