TWENTY thousand properties across Worcestershire will be at risk of future flooding – threatening to wreak havoc on households.
Despite massive investment into flooding alleviation work, pressure to build new homes and climate change are driving up fears the county could be facing a deteriorating situation.
The Environment Agency has been working on a third generation map based on complex computer modelling which demonstrates the outcome of a number of different weather scenarios.
For the first time ever, the map is due to be published later this month, and will show areas at risk of future surface flooding.
In Worcestershire, up to 20,000 properties will be at risk, compared to the current tally of 18,000.
An in-house county council report warns that by 2020, “more intense extreme weather”, including wetter winters, will have a huge impact.
Temperature on the hottest day of the summer could rise as much as 5.5C, while in winter the coldest day could increase by 3.8C, making floods a regular occurence.
The report also says increasing pressures to build more homes may make the situation worse unless more action is taken.
“More pressures for growth on previously undeveloped land, combined with the effect of climate change in increasing the chance of disruptive rainfall events occurring, may contribute to a deteriorating situation unless we develop and implement measures to address flood risk,” it says.
During a meeting of the economy, environment and communities scrutiny panel at County Hall, politicians said flash flooding was becoming a real concern.
Councillor Alistair Adams said: “In the Littletons (Evesham) there has been quite a lot of flash flooding.
“From the public’s point of view you have the county council, environment agency, Wychavon District Council, Seven Trent, and residents often have good ideas of where flooding occurs and how to reduce it, but hit a brick wall.
“Bigger schemes like the work at Upton gets done but not all the smaller projects that need doing – that might cost £2,000 or £3,000.
“This is about how we resolve those. It would alleviate the fears for so many residents where the roads directly outside where they live flood regularly.”
Ian Barnforth, head of operations covering maintenance and countryside at the council, said the situation will “never be perfect” but insisted things are improving.
He said: “In 2007 we had a deluge, and I’d hope that if we got that situation again we could get away with it because of the work we’ve been doing. Nevertheless, there’s always a lot more we can do.”