Climate change: Group warns of 'significant' flood risk for 75,000 homes

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image copyrightDavid Jackman - Everything Epping Forest
image captionCars stranded by flash flooding in Loughton in August

The number of homes at "significant" risk of flooding in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk could double to 75,000, a climate change group has warned.

The Essex Climate Action Commission is recommending a number of green initiatives in a bid to protect homes.

These include changes to farm practices and the introduction of sustainable drainage systems for towns.

Essex County Council chief executive Gavin Jones said a "generational change" was needed.

The two-year commission was set up by Essex County Council to mitigate the effects of climate change, improve air quality and increase biodiversity in the county.

Its latest report calls for all farms in Essex to adopt sustainable land stewardship practices by 2050, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Rob Wise, an NFU environment adviser who sits on the commission, said farms needed to be "more carbon friendly in the first place".

"That is what we mean by sustainable land stewardship," he said.

"I don't think that there is really a farmer left these days that wouldn't in their heart of hearts agree that trying to get to a point where all of their land is farmed using these principles is a good idea."

image copyrightRussell Savory
image captionBeavers have been introduced to try to reduce flooding at Finchingfield

Other recommendations include increasing green space and developing sustainable drainage systems in 30% of towns, villages and new developments.

Mr Jones said: "This has got to be live and has got to make the different generational change that you're talking about.

"So I'll be taking that back - particularly in terms of how do we create a system-wide accountability so that we are accountable to the public and accountable to each other for actually making this a reality."

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