Flooding in the UK is on the rise. Reports of flooding are now on average twice as frequent as they were 100 years ago, and experts are predicting a significant increase in flood risk in the coming years. The causes: changing weather patterns, the amount of new development on low-lying areas, and other local factors such as the condition of drainage systems.

Environment Agency figures show that of the 28 million homes in the UK, 5 million are currently 'at risk', together with 300,000 business premises. The cost implications to the insurance industry and key stakeholders are massive. In this programme we look at the impact of flood risk on the value and insurability of property.

About the contributors

James Dalton, Association of British Insurers, was appointed the Assistant Director of Property, Motor and Liability insurance at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in May 2010. James' key work areas include: leading the industry's work with the Government on the Statement of Principles (which expires in 2013), persuading the Government of the importance of increasing investment in flood defences, the implementation of the Flood and Water Management Act, and improving flood risk management strategies. He is also responsible for the ABI's work on reforming the personal injury compensation system, issues associated with occupational disease, tackling uninsured driving and improving road safety.

His previous role was as Senior European Adviser at the ABI where he was responsible for analysing the impact on ABI members of regulatory developments in the European institutions and undertaking lobbying work in Brussels in pursuit of the industry's objectives.

Between 2002 and 2007, James was a Senior Adviser at the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development where he coordinated a review of New Zealand's standards and conformance infrastructure, undertook international trade negotiations and acted as Private Secretary to the New Zealand Minister of Commerce.

Philip Wilbourn, Wilbourn Associates, is a Chartered Environmental Surveyor and one of the leading experts on the relationship between the value of all forms of commercial property, contaminated land and the development/ investment markets.

In 1996, Philip gave evidence on behalf of the RICS to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Environment, in response to the Government's Statutory Guidance on implementing Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He has also been an expert witness in significant contamination cases where value has been affected, notably Blue Circle Industries v. Ministry of Defence. He continues to give expert evidence in contentious environmental cases. In 2001, he passed the pilot multi–disciplinary examination, carrying the accreditation Specialist in Land Condition (SiLC), and has been an assessor. In 2006, he became a Chartered Environmentalist registered with the Society of the Environment.

From 1995, Philip has contributed to RICS guidance, and has written three editions of Professional Guidance for RICS, the latest being published on 1 April 2010: 'Contamination, the Environment and Sustainability – Implications for chartered surveyors and their clients'. Philip has spoken at numerous conferences and CPD events across the UK on the effect on development and investment values from environmental risk. He has published numerous articles in many professional journals; he has also appeared on TV and radio.

His extremely broad business background includes Midland Bank PLC (1977–1983), English Estates (1983–1988) and Grosvenor Laing Urban Enterprise (1988–1993).

In 1993, he has established his own practice (Wilbourn Associates), specialising in Energy Performance Certificates, Land Quality Statements, GIS Services, Data Management, Environmental Screenings, Environmental Due Diligence advice, Sustainability and the Carbon Reduction Commitment, as well as Economic Regeneration. The practice produces 45,000 residential and 3,000 commercial environmental reports each month. Based in Sheffield, it undertakes projects throughout the UK. In 1997, the practice sponsored research with the Investment Property Forum and the Pat Allsop Trust which was undertaken by the College of Estate Management. The report 'Is it Worth the Risk? The Impact of Environmental Risk on Property Investment Valuation' was published in April 1997.

In 2002, Philip was invited by the RICS to represent the profession at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and contributed to the formation of Global Alliance for Building Sustainability; Wilbourn Associates have also joined the alliance of practitioners. In October 2002, he also published 'Brownfields – managing the development of previously developed land' which was funded by the DTI and CIRIA. In 2003, Philip published the guidance note 'Brownfield – Building on Previously Development Land' for the Construction Industry Council, funded by the DTI and CIRIA.

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