UK properties: Environment Agency warns 7,000 houses could be lost on coastline because of rising sea levels

 
Sarah Spickernell
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7,000 homes on the coast are at risk (Source: Getty)

As many as 7,000 properties on the English and Welsh coastlines could be lost in the next 100 years, according to the Environment Agency.

The government body warns that the rising sea level – a product of climate change – will erode the coast and cause damage to so many homes that protecting all of them will not be economically feasible.

An analysis by the agency revealed that an estimated 800 homes will be lost over the next 20 years alone, given current funding allocations. For these particular homes, the cost of protecting them against destruction is considered too high.

It is not just sea level that is being affected by climate change – the weather is also becoming erratic and the intensity of storms is projected to increase. Ultimately, an estimated £1bn worth of properties will be washed away.

The areas set to lose out the most over the next century are Great Yarmouth, Southampton, Cornwall, North Norfolk, East Riding and Scarborough – each is expected to lose more than 200 homes.

"The recent announcement of £2.3bn investment over the next six years will see significant investment in coastal flood and erosion risk management, with 15,000 properties better protected from coastal erosion over the next six years,” an Environment Agency spokesman told the BBC.

"The Environment Agency uses a range of advanced techniques to monitor and assess the causes and impacts of coastal erosion," they explained.

"We work with local authorities, which lead on shoreline management plans, to identify erosion risk management schemes, coastal erosion monitoring and further research on how we best adapt to these changes."

However, he added that flood defence protection must be prioritised in heavily populated areas.

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