The Environment Agency has welcomed the government's call for a change in land-use planning in a bid to alleviate flooding.

The government recently released a Planning Policy Guidance Note 25 on development and flood risk.

It has also been welcomed by the Association of British Insurers, which has long called for changes to planning in flood-risk areas.

Agency chairman John Harman said the planning system provided the greatest opportunity for controlling and limiting flood risk.

He said the requirement for planning authorities to apply a sequential method of land development, which would result in low-risk sites being chosen over high-risk sites, was particularly good.