Government accepts AXA UK’s recommendation to make sustainable drainage systems mandatory for new homes


Authored by AXA

  • The Government has accepted AXA UK’s recommendation to make sustainable drainage systems mandatory for new developments in England
  • Sustainable drainage solutions reduce flooding, improve biodiversity and help future-proof the built environment
  • This recommendation was part of AXA UK’s Building for the Future report which sets out recommendations for the Government to improve the sustainability of the built environment and support the nation’s resilience to emerging risks

The UK Government has this week accepted the recommendation to mandate sustainable drainage systems  for new home developments in England to reduce the risk of surface water and sewerage flooding and relieve pressure on traditional systems. This follows AXA UK’s recommendations as part of its Building for the Future report in which it specifies solutions to reduce surface water and sewerage flooding, improve biodiversity and help future-proof the built environment.

Sustainable drainage systems reduce the impact of rainfall on homes and buildings by using features such as permeable surfaces, wetlands and grassed areas to improve drainage. They can also offer much-needed green space in urban areas, improving the appearance of towns and cities. AXA believes implementing these measures would enable the construction of more sustainable and insurable buildings, reducing risk for all involved.

Over the last decade, AXA has seen surface water flood claims become more common and extreme. The UK’s vulnerability to flooding and other risks driven by climate change is likely to increase in the coming years. It’s therefore critical that the Government continues to prioritise a policy agenda and regulatory framework that reflects emerging trends, particularly those associated with climate-related risks and building safety.

“I am pleased to see the Government has accepted AXA UK’s recommendation to take flood risk seriously by making sustainable drainage systems mandatory for new home developments in England. Regulation has been slow to catch up with the crucial need to make what we build today fit for the evolving requirements of future generations, so this is a positive step in future-proofing the built environment.

With one in 10 new homes in England being built in at-risk areas, this announcement marks an important move towards improving the resilience, safety and sustainability of our local areas and helps us better protect our customers.” - Dougie Barnett, Director of Customer Risk Management at AXA UK & Ireland


About AXA

AXA is one of the largest insurers in the UK. We provide a wide range of commercial and personal insurance solutions, working closely with our broker partners.

AXA Commercial

SME, mid-market, mid-corporate and schemes propositions that give businesses the confidence to thrive, today and tomorrow.

AXA Retail

A range of quality products to suit your clients’ needs, helping people live the life they love, knowing we’ve got their back, at home and on the road.

Latest video

AXA video: Dave Ovenden – What's in store in 2024?

Watch AXA Commercial’s Chief Underwriting Officer, David Ovenden talking about inflation and preventing underinsurance, as well as rate requirements in the motor... click here for more