CASTLE Point MP Bob Spink wants the law changed to stop the building of new homes in flood risk areas like Canvey.

The independent MP has put forward a private members’ bill to the House of Commons, which if passed would prevent new developments on flood plains.

Dr Spink is particularly concerned with the situation on Canvey, where the Environment Agency has advised against any new building on the island because of the risk of surface water flooding.

Despite the agency’s advice, Castle Point Council plans to build 1,875 new homes, there in the next 17 years.

Dr Spink said: “This is very relevant nationally and locally.

“Canvey already suffers from surface water problems and if you build new homes you only increase the risk for both the existing and new residents.”

The MP’s proposal is being backed by Graham Bracci, chairman of the Canvey Greenbelt Campaign, which opposes the council’s plans to build 400 new homes near the Dutch Village.

He said: “It only has to rain a little bit and there are problems with surface water flooding across the island. Everyone knows another big development is the last thing Canvey needs.”

Dr Spink’s private members bill, which was given its first reading in Westminster on Wednesday, aims to force local planners to follow the advice of the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency currently advises against any new building on flood plains if a more suitable alternative is available.

However, Castle Point Council can get round this in Canvey by arguing there are no other more suitable locations in the borough.

The private members’ bill will get its second reading in the House of Commons on January 29, however it is very unlikely to become law unless it receives the support of Government.

Castle Point Council councillor responsible for the environment, Ray Howard said: “We accept the expertise and advice of the Government agency that development should not take place on the flood plain, but surely it cannot be right the council should ignore the needs and aspirations of the community for local schools, businesses and homes?”