Defra has announced plans which could result in financial support for homeowners in flood risk areas.

Under the proposals, money may be given to coastal-living homeowners to make their properties more flood resistant, particularly in areas where other flood defences cannot be justified. The money would be for on their own flood defences, such as double glazing, or by minimising the damage caused by floods, for example by installing waterproof plaster.

The plans were announced as part of a series of new schemes to find ways of improving drainage and flood avoidance measures which are currently often stretched by heavy downpours.

Cases of extreme flooding in England are becoming all too frequent. Last year, Carlisle and Boscastle in Cornwall were devastated by floods, leaving thousands homeless.

Defra will spend £2million on the schemes, joining current total expenditure of £478million on flood defence work this financial year, which will rise to £570million next year.

Elliot Morley, the Environment Minister, said: ?Climate change and economic development bring into focus the problems we will face in the future from flooding and coastal erosion risk. From my recent visits to Boscastle and Carlisle I know all too well that irrespective of where these threats come from flooding is an extremely upsetting experience for those affected.?

He added: ?Our new holistic approach should help to reassure the five million people at risk from flooding and coastal erosion that we are working hard across Government to set in place a strategy for the next twenty years that will effectively manage the impact on people, homes and businesses; doing so in a way that benefits wildlife and the landscape.?