Most of the land threatened by rising water levels in Hammersmith and Fulham has been developed, new figures reveal.
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.
In 2017, about 52% of land in Hammersmith and Fulham – eight square kilometres – had a high risk of flooding, according to recently released data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
It includes places with at least a 1% chance of flooding from rivers or a one in 200 chance of flooding from the sea each year – though it does not take flood defences into account.
The figures also show that 59% of Hammersmith and Fulham’s flood risk land is developed – nine times the national average.
Utilities and transport such as highways were most prevalent in the areas, taking up 22% of flood risk land. Houses covered 21%.
Across England, 10% of land is threatened by flooding, the data shows, and 6% of that land is developed.
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.
The public body’s chairwoman, 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.
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency 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, ensuring that we are better prepared for the increased level of risk that the future will bring.”