Developers should be legally required to install anti-flood measures when building new homes, according to calls from town hall chiefs.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said mandatory anti-flood requirements would save hundreds of millions of pounds in flood damage and protect thousands of homes built in flood-risk areas.
The measures include raised electrical sockets and fuse boxes, sealed floors and raised damp-proof courses.
Cllr Martin Tett, environment spokesman for the LGA, said: ‘We are urging the Government to make it a mandatory requirement for builders in at-risk areas to better protect properties from flooding. For example, if fuse boxes had been on upper rather than ground floors, many families caught in the winter chaos may still have had power. For a household gripped by the horror and trauma of flooding, electricity can be a lifeline.
‘Other measures from the Government could also make a massive difference in helping councils. These include allowing councils to keep landfill tax and devolving new flood defence funding to local areas.’
The LGA is calling for all landfill tax – estimated to be more than £82 per tonne – to be handed back to councils to help support local projects.