Insurers are calling for changes to planning guidelines following concerns that new housing developments on flood plains could become uninsurable.

Norwich Union (NU) wants the government to make consultation with Environment Agency obligatory on new developments and have the number of housing applications on flood plains reduced to a minimum.

NU head of underwriting Laurence Loughnane said: "If developers build on flood plains this will affect the insurability of homes. We would like to see this kind of development kept to a minimum."

The call comes after the ABI warned that the Thames Gateway development, much of which is on floodplains, could become uninsurable. With many of the projected 120,000 new homes likely to be built using low cost techniques the ABI is calling for a scheme to guarantee the quality of the homes when faced with water damage.