One million new homes expected to be built over the next 12 years could be at risk of flooding unless tougher planning restrictions are introduced, the insurance industry warned yesterday. The Independent

The Government has set a target of building three million properties by 2020 but, according to the Association of British Insurers, about a third of these will be erected on flood plains.

In many cases, the ABI claimed, local authorities had pushed for construction to go ahead despite the Environment Agency warning of flood risks.

Justin Jacobs, the ABI's assistant property director, said: 'The Government's ambitious housing plans are in jeopardy unless we reduce the flood risk. In the past year, 13 major developments have been given the go-ahead despite Environment Agency advice. Where a local authority plans to ignore flood risk advice, the Government should step in and review the proposals and be compelled to publish their decision.'