Millions of Homes in the UK at Increased Risk of Subsidence

Millions of homes in London and home counties at risk. Credit: Pixabay

Hotter and drier summers are putting millions of British homes at risk of subsidence, the British Geological Survey warns.

Climate change is forcing the ground under homes across large areas of England to crack. The counties and cities most at risk include London, Essex, Kent, and Oxford.

According to the British Geological Survey (BGS), one million homes were at risk of subsidence in 1990 but by 2030 the number rises to 2.4m. If climate change continues at the same rate, 4 million homes, including 57 per cent of properties in London, will be at risk by 2070.  in 2030 and 4m in 2070, The Guardian reports.

The boroughs most likely to have increased risk are Camden, Islington, Brent, Barnet, Harrow, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Lambeth and Lewisham.

“Dry weather and high temperatures are going to be a major factor in the emergence of future shrink-swell subsidence. The longer drought you get, and the higher the temperature is, the more moisture that’s going to be driven off. In the south-east, many of the clay formations are too young to have been changed into stronger mud rocks, leaving them vulnerable to absorb and lose moisture,” said Lee Jones, a geological engineer at BGS.

“It’s advisable for those living in an area showing an increased susceptibility under future climate conditions to seek specialist advice before starting any major building work,” he added.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.