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Fears climate change will mean more floods in Norfolk as calls made for better protection

PUBLISHED: 17:32 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:32 28 June 2019

Flooding at Walcott in north Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Flooding at Walcott in north Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A call has been made for an urgent review of flood protection in Norfolk, amid concern climate change will bring more extreme weather.

Ed Maxfield, Liberal Democrat leader at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Liberal Democrats.Ed Maxfield, Liberal Democrat leader at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated in Lincolnshire last month because of flooding - and the Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County Council fears a repeat in Norfolk.

Ed Maxfield, leader of the 11-strong Lib Dem group at County Hall, has written to Conservative council leader Andrew Proctor to ask what steps are being taken to keep properties in Norfolk safe.

Highlighting how it has been one of the wettest Junes since records began, Mr Maxfield said: "The floods a couple of weeks ago damaged scores of small businesses in south Lincolnshire and forced hundreds of people to leave their homes.

"We have to know councils and the government are doing all they can to keep us safe from flooding in Norfolk. Climate change is real and extreme weather is sure to happen more often.

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"Demand for more houses increases the pressure to build on flood plains. If we get it wrong the costs are enormous. 17,000 acres of farmland was left under water by the Somerset floods five years ago.

"Severe flooding in 2007 in the west of England cost almost £4bn and we rely on the council getting it right to protect us all."

Andy Grant, the council's cabinet member for environment and waste said: "Norfolk County Council has been and continues to work with all of our partners to ensure our response to flooding, which is a national issue is faced. To effectively tackle the increasing risks, a range of agencies will continue to work together, including with local communities."

He said the council's cabinet had this month made a robust response to the Environment Agency, calling for them to fully fund work to tackle flooding in the county.

And he added: "The council is in the process of developing a new environmental policy. We ensure all relevant advice and guidance updates and predictions are incorporated into our flood and water management work.

"We also have a countywide flood risk assessment in place which was updated in 2017, and we work closely with partners to minimise the risk to homes and livelihoods across the county."

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