Climate change advice ‘is still being ignored’

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GOSPORT and Fareham feature in a government report which suggests warnings about climate change are being ignored.

The Committee on Climate Change’s assessment shows development has increased in flood-prone areas in both boroughs over the past 10 years and that there has been a rise in building on areas of eroding coastline despite warnings.

It also points out that green land in Gosport and Fareham has been lost to developments over the same period.

The boroughs were two of nine local authorities examined in light of their vulnerability to flooding, and only one, Southampton, did not show an increase of development in high risk flooding area.

The other boroughs looked at were South Gloucestershire, East Riding, Tewkesbury, Stockton, Hull and Gloucester.

Advisors suggest developments will not only be at risk of flooding, but will also contribute to climate change by creating higher temperatures in towns and cities.

It states Britain could be increasingly vulnerable to expected climate impacts including an increase in floods, heatwaves and droughts, because the risks are not being fully considered in planning decisions.

The report concluded that the UK was close to the limit it could cope with in areas such as water supplies and flooding – and that climate change could push it over the edge.

The report said: ‘There are actions that could be taken to reduce the vulnerability of buildings.

‘However, we found limited evidence of uptake of such measures.’

Graham Burgess, chairman of community and environment at Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘We have identified our flood risk areas and don’t envisage that any building will take place on high-risk ground – it’s an issue we always consider.’

Sean Woodward, Fareham Borough Council leader, added: ‘We do not build on floodplains and reduced the development in the north of Fareham when we found out 3,000 of the homes proposed were in Wallisdean, which is a floodplain.’

The report also looked at rising water shortages and gas emissions throughout the country.