• Should there be compensation for people who lose their home from rising sea levels?

    Have you heard about climate refugees? They’re people who are forced to relocate due to rising sea levels.

    It’s been reported that Fairbourne in North Wales will be the first community in the UK to fall to climate change - apparently there’s no compensation being offered for the loss of their homes, and there’s no clear resettlement plans.

    Compare this to the USA where, according to a New York Times article, in Nashville they’re using a combo of federal, state and local funds to offer people in danger-zones the market value for their homes. Once moved out, the city can prohibit future development on that land.

    If you were told your home was at risk of being flooded in the future, would you move (now) even if not offered help or a relocation aid?
    Should they be offered compensation and/or be bought out of their homes?
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  • Have you heard about climate refugees? They’re people who are forced to relocate due to rising sea levels.

    It’s been reported that Fairbourne in North Wales will be the first community in the UK to fall to climate change - apparently there’s no compensation being offered for the loss of their homes, and there’s no clear resettlement plans.

    Compare this to the USA where, according to a New York Times article, in Nashville they’re using a combo of federal, state and local funds to offer people in danger-zones the market value for their homes. Once moved out, the city can prohibit future development on that land.

    If you were told your home was at risk of being flooded in the future, would you move (now) even if not offered help or a relocation aid?
    Should they be offered compensation and/or be bought out of their homes?
  • Wow this is one of those dangerous topics with no correct answer. My view is no compensation should be due.
    The risk of erosion and sea levels has been known for many many years, so if you choose to live in an area where the risk is greater then surly the level of insurance cover taken out would increase. The money and resourses spent on sea defence has to be weighed up against the benefit it brings. In this article the area is built on reclaimed land so it is a foregone conclusion that at somepoint nature will take it back.indeed many believe that sea and river flood defenses actually cause greater harm than good in some areas and should be halted.
    The policy in parts of america is not to spend money on flood defenses but instead allow the land to become flood plains and use the money saved paying current market value for the property.
    Last edited by Jon1; 09-07-19 at 10:15.
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  • Wow this is one of those dangerous topics with no correct answer. My view is no compensation should be due.
    The risk of erosion and sea levels has been known for many many years, so if you choose to live in an area where the risk is greater then surly the level of insurance cover taken out would increase. The money and resourses spent on sea defence has to be weighed up against the benefit it brings. In this article the area is built on reclaimed land so it is a foregone conclusion that at somepoint nature will take it back.indeed many believe that sea and river flood defenses actually cause greater harm than good in some areas and should be halted.
    The policy in parts of america is not to spend money on flood defenses but instead allow the land to become flood plains and use the money saved paying current market value for the property.
  • Good points, I didn't know about sea/flood defences causing harm though clearly they don't always work.

    If there's no compensation, should the government provide a relocation plan? Just thinking, if they aren't going to be able to sell their houses, how would they move away
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  • Good points, I didn't know about sea/flood defences causing harm though clearly they don't always work.

    If there's no compensation, should the government provide a relocation plan? Just thinking, if they aren't going to be able to sell their houses, how would they move away
  • I'm about to totally disagree with Jon1, sorry but I'm affected by a similar situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nataly View Post
    If you were told your home was at risk of being flooded in the future, would you move (now) even if not offered help or a relocation aid?


    My home's been at risk of flooding for over 10 years, the local authority, in it's infinite wisdom during the late 1960s/early 1970s expanded the housing estate I live in near to a flood plain. At the time that they built these homes, and at the time that I moved here (1996) this was not an issue - however, more recently, it has become an issue, my next door neighbour, who's home is slightly nearer to the tributary of the Amman that causes the problem, had to have his back garden reinforced by a breeze block wall a few years back, as it was being eroded by the stream.

    This winter, we ended up with a tree in our garden, the tree brushed against our heating oil tank, but fortunately did not rupture it and narrowly missed coming through our bedroom ceiling (and I do mean 'narrowly,' it took our guttering off), because the swollen stream had eroded the trees roots, there's a few dozen more trees just waiting their turn.

    So, would I move were I offered the opportunity to do so? You bet I would, but until the council has more suitable accommodation available, and they decide that we actually are in danger, we are stuck here. We are already planning to move our bedroom into our living room shortly, so that if it happens again at least we are in the 'far side' of the bungalow.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nataly View Post
    Should they be offered compensation and/or be bought out of their homes?
    Yes.
    This, is to my mind at least, an economic 'no-brainer' -shoring up the flood defences is, at best, a short-term solution. Whether we 'all pay' for the cost of buying these people out of their homes via taxation, or increased insurance premiums - we are ultimately 'all paying for it.'

    Therefore, it would be easier if the government were to step in, provide funds to the affected local authorities, and either build 'replacement villages' for the affected people, or provide them with funds to move elsewhere.
    The short-term boost to the housing market, and associated stamp duty, would probably mean that the economic costs to the government would actually work out lower than that to the insurance industry.
    A government promise to 'bail-out' the affected individuals would also mean Britain's insurers would not have this massive unknown cost hanging over their heads for years to come.
    Last edited by Gwyndy; 11-07-19 at 13:28.
    1
  • I'm about to totally disagree with Jon1, sorry but I'm affected by a similar situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nataly View Post
    If you were told your home was at risk of being flooded in the future, would you move (now) even if not offered help or a relocation aid?


    My home's been at risk of flooding for over 10 years, the local authority, in it's infinite wisdom during the late 1960s/early 1970s expanded the housing estate I live in near to a flood plain. At the time that they built these homes, and at the time that I moved here (1996) this was not an issue - however, more recently, it has become an issue, my next door neighbour, who's home is slightly nearer to the tributary of the Amman that causes the problem, had to have his back garden reinforced by a breeze block wall a few years back, as it was being eroded by the stream.

    This winter, we ended up with a tree in our garden, the tree brushed against our heating oil tank, but fortunately did not rupture it and narrowly missed coming through our bedroom ceiling (and I do mean 'narrowly,' it took our guttering off), because the swollen stream had eroded the trees roots, there's a few dozen more trees just waiting their turn.

    So, would I move were I offered the opportunity to do so? You bet I would, but until the council has more suitable accommodation available, and they decide that we actually are in danger, we are stuck here. We are already planning to move our bedroom into our living room shortly, so that if it happens again at least we are in the 'far side' of the bungalow.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nataly View Post
    Should they be offered compensation and/or be bought out of their homes?
    Yes.
    This, is to my mind at least, an economic 'no-brainer' -shoring up the flood defences is, at best, a short-term solution. Whether we 'all pay' for the cost of buying these people out of their homes via taxation, or increased insurance premiums - we are ultimately 'all paying for it.'

    Therefore, it would be easier if the government were to step in, provide funds to the affected local authorities, and either build 'replacement villages' for the affected people, or provide them with funds to move elsewhere.
    The short-term boost to the housing market, and associated stamp duty, would probably mean that the economic costs to the government would actually work out lower than that to the insurance industry.
    A government promise to 'bail-out' the affected individuals would also mean Britain's insurers would not have this massive unknown cost hanging over their heads for years to come.
  • Yes this is one of 'those' types of question.

    I would certainly say people who have more recently bought property anywhere that is liable to flooding e.g. on a flood plane don't have a leg to stand on and should have done 'due diligence' before buying that property. People who have been owners for longer might have some arguments especially if government or other agencies have made changes to that area that increased the risks.

    Whilst it could be argued that building on flood planes is wrong and should be banned, buying property on a flood plane is stupid. If people did not buy on a flood plane then the obvious result would be people would stop building on a flood plane.

    On a similar basis I have limited sympathy to those people living near Heathrow. Heathrow is one of the world's oldest international airports so plane noise is not something new to that area. (Since Concorde stopped flying arguable noise has declined at least in terms of peak levels.)

    HS2 is a different matter. For many people when they bought their houses there was no idea this would ever take place so yes in that case they should get full compensation.

    I would myself regard checking the likelihood of flooding as something I should do before buying a house. Whilst I did not specifically do this when I bought my house many years ago I had already lived in that area for a number of years so was fully aware of the local situation. If I was to buy another house it would be something I would specifically check.
    Last edited by jelockwood; 12-07-19 at 16:31.
    1
  • Yes this is one of 'those' types of question.

    I would certainly say people who have more recently bought property anywhere that is liable to flooding e.g. on a flood plane don't have a leg to stand on and should have done 'due diligence' before buying that property. People who have been owners for longer might have some arguments especially if government or other agencies have made changes to that area that increased the risks.

    Whilst it could be argued that building on flood planes is wrong and should be banned, buying property on a flood plane is stupid. If people did not buy on a flood plane then the obvious result would be people would stop building on a flood plane.

    On a similar basis I have limited sympathy to those people living near Heathrow. Heathrow is one of the world's oldest international airports so plane noise is not something new to that area. (Since Concorde stopped flying arguable noise has declined at least in terms of peak levels.)

    HS2 is a different matter. For many people when they bought their houses there was no idea this would ever take place so yes in that case they should get full compensation.

    I would myself regard checking the likelihood of flooding as something I should do before buying a house. Whilst I did not specifically do this when I bought my house many years ago I had already lived in that area for a number of years so was fully aware of the local situation. If I was to buy another house it would be something I would specifically check.
  • Quote Originally Posted by Gwyndy View Post

    This winter, we ended up with a tree in our garden, the tree brushed against our heating oil tank, but fortunately did not rupture it and narrowly missed coming through our bedroom ceiling (and I do mean 'narrowly,' it took our guttering off), because the swollen stream had eroded the trees roots, there's a few dozen more trees just waiting their turn.

    So, would I move were I offered the opportunity to do so? You bet I would, but until the council has more suitable accommodation available, and they decide that we actually are in danger, we are stuck here. We are already planning to move our bedroom into our living room shortly, so that if it happens again at least we are in the 'far side' of the bungalow.

    Wow I'm really sorry to hear that Gwyndy and thanks for your honesty - sounds like a scary experience, and what a pain to have to move your bedroom!

    I do agree that without some sort of aid or housing alternative, I don't see how people would be able to move. Especially if it's the local council who made the decision to expand the estate in those areas in the first place.

    ​@jelockwood good point that in recent years this has very much become a topic to look into before purchasing. But then how would the government (or whoever responsible, insurers etc) decide on a date from which people should/shouldn't have taken it into consideration?

    RE Heathrow... can't help but agree, especially as that's a man-made issue and not an issue of nature and rising sea levels
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  • Quote Originally Posted by Gwyndy View Post

    This winter, we ended up with a tree in our garden, the tree brushed against our heating oil tank, but fortunately did not rupture it and narrowly missed coming through our bedroom ceiling (and I do mean 'narrowly,' it took our guttering off), because the swollen stream had eroded the trees roots, there's a few dozen more trees just waiting their turn.

    So, would I move were I offered the opportunity to do so? You bet I would, but until the council has more suitable accommodation available, and they decide that we actually are in danger, we are stuck here. We are already planning to move our bedroom into our living room shortly, so that if it happens again at least we are in the 'far side' of the bungalow.

    Wow I'm really sorry to hear that Gwyndy and thanks for your honesty - sounds like a scary experience, and what a pain to have to move your bedroom!

    I do agree that without some sort of aid or housing alternative, I don't see how people would be able to move. Especially if it's the local council who made the decision to expand the estate in those areas in the first place.

    ​@jelockwood good point that in recent years this has very much become a topic to look into before purchasing. But then how would the government (or whoever responsible, insurers etc) decide on a date from which people should/shouldn't have taken it into consideration?

    RE Heathrow... can't help but agree, especially as that's a man-made issue and not an issue of nature and rising sea levels