Building Future Communities report

This report sets out key steps to protect homes and businesses from the impact of climate change.

We found:

  • 38% of Brits surveyed believe climate change will have an impact on their homes in the next year, rising to 57% in the next 10 years.
  • Many householders are ill-prepared for the impact of climate change – only 9% of people feel fully prepared for a flood happening in their home, and 36% haven’t thought about it at all.
  • Three in five people (60%) in high-risk flood areas have not put in place any flood mitigation measures. 
  • More than 570,000 new homes have been built since 2016 that will not be resilient to future high temperatures. 
  • Nearly three-fifths (57%) of small business owners believe that climate change will have an impact on their business in the next ten years, yet just 12% have a business continuity plan that includes climate change risks.

Our seven-step call for change:

  1. Greater use of innovative, nature-based solutions that are adapted to the UK landscape – we should introduce site-specific solutions that can help to guard against multiple climate risks.
  2. Ensure small and medium-sized businesses are protected against extreme weather – new commercial properties built today need to be fit for purpose, and for the government to better support them prepare for climate events.
  3. Strengthen planning regulation to protect UK properties – since January 2009, more than 70,000 homes have been built in flood zones 4. Strengthen planning and building regulation to prevent new properties from being built on floodplains, and to ensure that all existing and future properties have resilience and safety measures in place.
  4. More collaboration and research across all stages of the building process – from design to build, all current and future materials should have both sustainability and safety in mind.
  5. Improve access to home insurance and narrow the insurance gap to protect those most at risk – increase research into the affordability and availability of insurance, and targeted measures to close the insurance gap – particularly among renters – and protect those most threatened by climate change.
  6. Encourage and incentivise property resilience to aid recovery – campaigns and incentives that drive preventative action against extreme weather impacts. These should include government grants to help return businesses and homes to a more resilient state after extreme weather events.
  7. Collaboration across recovery organisations to strengthen crisis response – increase collaboration and support for communities through a more streamlined crisis response to climate events.

To see the full results of the survey and our seven-step action plan

Download the full Building Future Communities Report, July 2021 (PDF)