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Folkestone and Hythe is the area most at risk of flooding in Kent

by Alex Shaw

The area of Kent with the highest risk of flooding has been revealed.

Folkestone and Hythe - which includes Romney Marsh - is the top of the list with 43.4%

Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth says many face the “all-too-regular ordeal” of flooding, with climate change adding to the woes of those in vulnerable areas.

Flooding in Folkestone in August 1996. Picture: Max Hess
Flooding in Folkestone in August 1996. Picture: Max Hess

The figures from 2017 revealed Medway was the second most at risk with 28.7% and Swale is third with 26.4%.

At the other end of the list, just 4.6% of land in Sevenoaks is at risk and 6.8% of Tunbridge Wells, according to the statistics recently released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Although only 12.9% of land in Dartford is developed, 34.4% of it has been built on.

Across England, 10% of land is threatened by flooding, the data shows, and 6% of that land is developed.

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The statistics come days after Gravesham Borough Council declared a climate change emergency and set a target to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Friends of the Earth’s head of science, Mike Childs, said: “If we are going to stop the worst impacts of climate change, the Government will have to invest more in cutting carbon pollution as well in investing in flood defence measures such as tree planting.

“Money spent addressing the climate emergency is money well spent and will prevent much higher cost in the future.”

Recently, the country’s flood planners issued stark warnings about the threats posed by rivers and rising seas.

The Environment Agency has launched a consultation on its strategy against flooding and coastal erosion, describing floods as potentially lethal.

Swale was third on the list. In January, high tides caused minor flooding in the Faversham by the creek
Swale was third on the list. In January, high tides caused minor flooding in the Faversham by the creek

The public body’s chairman, Emma Howard Boyd, said an expected rise in global temperatures of between 2C and 4C by 2100 may uproot entire communities as water levels climb higher, with taxpayers facing an annual flood management bill of £1 billion.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “While our investment in flood and coastal defences will have better protected 300,000 homes and 280,000 hectares of agricultural land by 2021, climate change is accelerating the risk of flooding and we are clear more must be done.

“This is why the we have recently launched our draft flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy, which takes a long-term approach to how we can work together to build better resilience into our homes, businesses and infrastructure.”

For all the forecasts, warnings and weather related news, click here.

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