AN MP has warned that flood resilience must become an "ever-increasing priority" in order to ensure more properties are not vulnerable to inundation.

Deteriorating flood defences have put more than 200,000 homes at risk across the UK.

A lack of resources means that new developments are being built in flood plains without ensuring there are flood risk mitigation measures in place, which has been described as "unforgivable" by The Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, deputy chair of the committee and MP for the Cotswolds, said: "With the reality of climate change and increasing rainfall, robust flood resilience must of course become an ever-increasing priority.

"As we have recently seen once again, the depredations caused by such disasters are a matter of life and death for communities up and down the country.

"This inquiry has uncovered the alarming truth that in a number of ways, the approach to keeping our citizens safe in this area is contradictory and self-defeating, not least in the continuing development of new housing in areas of high flood risk without appropriate mitigations."

The PAC found that 203,000 properties are at risk of deteriorating defences, which is higher than the amount the Government is aiming to protect with new infrastructure.

Around 5.7 million properties were at risk of flooding in England across 2022-23 and this number is set to increase as climate change brings more intense downpours more often.

Nearly 2,000 properties were flooded in the latest bout of downpours in early January, with eight named storms having hit the UK since September.

Sir Geoffrey said the number of properties now at risk of flooding from deteriorating defences eclipsing those benefiting from new ones is another case in point.

He added: "This is emblematic both of the Government's failure to strike the right balance between maintenance and construction, and of not considering the net number of properties at risk.

"One of the first steps in delivering any successful policy is clearly defining what success looks like. We hope the recommendations in our report help the Government to do so."