How Home Owners Suffer When The Buck Is Passed
Flooding has always been a risk for many homes within the United Kingdom, and an incident which took place in 2009 serves to perfectly illustrate the susceptibility of certain homes. Residents living in a housing estate in Denbighshire had been plagued by floods since initial construction had been completed. Subsequently, plans were updated that included a rise in elevation of all newly constructed homes in comparison to the previous properties. However, many residents observed that these newer houses were built on levels that did not reflect this change. The resultant flooding that occurred every time the nearby River Clwyd burst its banks was a clear indication that the planning was flawed since its inception.
What compounded events is that the estate was built in an area that was known to be a flood plain. Thus, residents argued that the council and the planning commission should have been adequately aware of the challenges posed before construction had even begun. Victims of this flooding blamed the planning commission while authorities insisted that the incident was caused by inflexible regulations. Regardless of the logistical reasons behind the circumstances, many home and business owners wished to file insurance claims in order to remunerate lost funds and damages.
During the claims process, the local and regional governments began to look at ways in which homeowners could be protected against any future floods. However, a great deal of frustration was witnessed when it emerged that while some homes would be required to pay a premium for flood protection, properties constructed after 2009 (as well as some small businesses) had not been included in the plan. Thus, many of the residents of Denbighshire were unable to legally file claims for flood damages that had resulted from what apparently was a result of poor planning.
The issue became further convoluted when the Association of British Insurers claimed that no such protection was necessary, as homes constructed after 2009 should have been planned according to newer regulations. The resulting debate continued for some time; each party attempting to decide which policies would be the most comprehensive to prevent further financial losses during flood seasons.
The primary issue for many homeowners was the levels of protection and the communication between state, local and private parties. While it was admitted that the housing plans in the Denbighshire estate were not thoroughly assessed for this before completion, it was also stated that all completed construction had met the minimum local building code requirements. Furthermore, experts found that the majority of flooding was caused by blocked culverts in combination with lower-lying properties.
This has resulted in buildings that were constructed before 2009 having the ability to enjoy some form of financial remuneration while newer homes and businesses are yet to be awarded any such compensation. This obviously has many families and small business owners upset, as some had lost a great deal of money as a result of what appeared to be poor decision making and a notable lack of communication between planning commissions and builders.