Moves to make flood insurance more affordable have progressed a step closer.
The Government’s Water Act, containing the primary legislation to set up the new Flood Re approach in 2015, has received Royal Assent.
Campaigners in Morpeth and a national group have welcomed the announcement, but both are urging caution as significant details still need to be worked out.
Under these plans, flood-insurance premiums will be limited and linked to council tax bands, while an industry-backed levy, which will include a pool from all policyholders, will cover those most at risk.
There have been many calls for action following large flooding events in the last decade and much of what is being put in place was suggested by a Morpeth Flood Insurance Working Group set up by the Morpeth Flood Action Group (MFAG) and Morpeth Town Council, with support from the Chamber of Trade, in 2010 to address the issue of soaring insurance costs in higher-risk areas where homes have been standing for many years.
MFAG chairman Alan Bell said: “The Act getting Royal Assent is a positive step.
“However, a lot of work needs to take place to sort out a range of important details such as what happens with properties on the edge of qualifying for Flood Re that just miss out.
“The Government also needs to commit funding for future flood defences and to address surface water issues.”
Paul Cobbing, chief executive of the National Flood Forum, described it as a ‘significant milestone’, but added that secondary regulations need to be put in place, European State Aid has to be sought and Prudential Assurance regulations must be met.