Scarborough has a higher share of green spaces than the average for England, figures reveal.
With the country’s population set to reach 70 million by 2030, environmental campaigners say building new homes and infrastructure cannot come at nature’s expense.
In 2017, some 4% of land in Scarborough – 34 square kilometres – was developed, according to recently released data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
This compares to 8% of land across England, with homes, offices and rubbish dumps among the uses.
In Scarborough, agriculture was the biggest user of land, taking up 51% of the overall area.
In second place were forests, open land and bodies of water, which take up 42%.
One-tenth of land nationwide has a high risk of flooding, the data shows, compared to 4% in Scarborough.
It includes places with at least a 1% chance of flooding from rivers or a one in 200 chance of flooding from the sea each year – though this does not take flood defences into account.
Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth says many face the “all-too-regular ordeal” of flooding, with climate change adding to the woes of those in vulnerable areas.
The group’s head of science, Mike Childs, said: “If we are going to stop the worst impacts of climate change the Government will have to invest more in cutting carbon pollution as well in investing in flood defence measures such as tree planting.
“Money spent addressing the climate emergency is money well spent and will prevent much higher cost in the future.”
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “While our investment in flood and coastal defences will have better protected 300,000 homes and 280,000 hectares of agricultural land by 2021, climate change is accelerating the risk of flooding and we are clear more must be done.
“This is why the we have recently launched our draft Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, which takes a long-term approach to how we can work together to build better resilience into our homes, businesses and infrastructure, ensuring that we are better prepared for the increased level of risk that the future will bring.”