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Flood risk warning on paved gardens

More people are paving over their gardens to create a patio or parking space or simply to cut back on maintenance, a new study has found.

Research by insurance firm LV= showed that the amount of green space being paved over was equivalent to almost two car parking spaces per house.

A poll of more than 2,000 home owners and a study of official housing surveys found a growing trend to pave over a garden, with half saying they wanted to create a patio and others wanting a parking space or planning to cut back on garden maintenance.

The report warned that houses could be left more vulnerable to flooding if lawns are removed by paving or concrete because hard surfaces cause water to build up rather than soak away.

Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: "Surface water flooding is a growing problem for home owners, particularly those living in built-up areas where there is less green space.

"By replacing flowerbeds and grass with materials like concrete and asphalt, water cannot be absorbed by the ground and this leads to surface water flooding."

The research showed that a third of home owners had paved over a portion of their garden, with almost one in eight of those doing so in 2013, 2% higher than in 2012.

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