GroundSure, one of the UKâs leading providers of environmental risk screening reports, has embraced the Pitt Reviewâs recommendation that flood risk information should become part of the mandatory search requirements when purchasing property, and should be included in a Home Information Pack (HIP).
The Pitt Review Final Report, âLearning lessons from the 2007 floodsâ, published on the 25 June 2008 following a ten month consultation period, concluded that given the cost implications associated with flooding, flood searches are increasingly important and should be mandatory in all property transactions. Paul Livett, Chairman of GroundSure, commented: âGroundSure welcomes the Pitt recommendation which recognises the value associated with having flood risk information available in property transactions. âLaw Society best practice guidance recommends that an environmental search is carried out ahead of property transactions and that a basic level flood search be part of that search. Implementing the Pitt Review recommendation would ensure that best practice is extended to all property transactions, mitigating against the risks of flooding which can have severe financial cost implications.Mr. Livett did however express concern that clear guidance should be issued outlining exactly what data should be used to highlight flood risk. âThe Government now needs to set a prescribed benchmark quality standard and rate different data sources accordingly. The challenge up to now has been the variation in the data available from different sources, making it difficult for industry and consumers to know which is most accurate. Mr. Livett went on to explain that no one source can provide a full picture, so the GroundSure Homebuyers which includes information on flood risk as well as contaminated land and ground stability, uses flood data from Norwich Union which is property specific and additional data sources including the British Geological Survey, Local Authorities and the Environment Agency.A recent survey conducted by GroundSure, echoes the findings of the Pitt Review â 95% of adults in Great Britain stated they believe that environmental reports are important, while 87% said they thought environmental reports ought to be mandatory in all housing transactions. âOur own research is testament to how seriously the public takes environmental risksâ added Mr. Livett.Flooding expert, Dr. Justin Butler, Managing Director of Ambiental commented: âwe have identified around 135 towns and cities which are at some degree of flooding, including London, Nottingham, Bristol, Hull, & Cardiff. Significant assets are at risk including 5,000 critical infrastructure sites, over 2,000 power stations and substations, as well as around 185,000 businesses. Inclusion of an easily interpretable flood search within the HIP would help to raise awareness and reduce risk for buyers of residential and commercial propertyâ. Last summerâs flooding was estimated to have cost Britain Â£3 billion, and with speculation that the UK will face more flash flooding in the future, individuals need to be aware of flooding risks which might undermine the value of the property they are planning to purchase.
Author: Grounsure Press Release
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