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The Environment Agency has warned the threat of flooding could 'seriously disrupt' the government's Communities Plan, unveiled last Wednesday.The agency, which has submitted evidence to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Parliamentary Select Committee, warns that up to 20,000 of the homes proposed for the Thames Gateway area could be subject to severe floods and 'long term damage'unless extensive work is undertaken to minimise the risk.

Plans for mammoth housebuilding in Ashford, Milton Keynes and the M11 corridor are also set out in the plan.

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