Landowners reaffirm call for stronger tax incentives to build flood defences

11 November 2015

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, has reaffirmed their call for tax relief to incentivise private investment in flood defences.

The comments were made today by CLA Deputy President Ross Murray at The Association of Drainage Authorities Annual Conference, and come only days after reports have claimed that severe winter storms are due to hit Britain over the next three months.

Mr Murray highlighted the crucial role that landowners play in defending rural communities from flooding.

He said: “The impact of flooding on the rural economy cannot be overstated. Winter floods can have a disastrous effect on agricultural land and rural businesses, and pose a serious risk to our food security.   

“Across the country, farmers and landowners are prepared to take action to protect their land and local communities from the risk of flooding. But there must be an incentive for more to spend the time and money necessary to go through frustrating planning processes in order to do so.

“We need new tax relief on capital investments as well as income tax relief for all forms of flood defence work carried out by individuals and businesses.

“Where Internal Drainage Boards work well they are the epitome of practical local partnerships, bringing the community together to implement pragmatic solutions.

“At present just over 50 per cent of Grade 1 agricultural land in England is situated within IDBs, along with nearly 900,000 properties. We must work together to ensure more areas have workable partnerships in place.

“With the Comprehensive Spending Review just weeks away, issues around funding for initiatives such as new IDBs must not be ignored.”