PLANS to halve the number of North West homes at risk from sewer floods have been announced by United Utilities.

The £29 million scheme, starting 12 months earlier than expected, will target more than 700 homes across the North West.

Currently, there are more than 1,300 homes in the region which have suffered sewer-related flooding.

The 700-plus homes being targeted in the next four years are those which have suffered sewer floods inside the property on several occasions in the past decade.

Tony Conway, United Utilities' head of asset performance, said: "We will focus on the highest priorities first, those homes which have been affected the most.

"Our plan will remove more homes from the risk of flooding and at a faster pace than hd been allowed for by the regulator."

The company is also investing a further £4 million on additional maintenance to sewers in areas susceptible to sewer flooding.