Dozens of flooding schemes go on hold

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ENVIRONMENT Agency chiefs have announced details of new flood prevention schemes across Yorkshire costing £30m, although it has been revealed dozens more vitally needed projects will never get off the ground unless costs are dramatically reduced.

Details of the schemes which will receive funding from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2012/13 for flood risk management projects, flood warning service improvements and maintenance schemes, were announced by the Environment Agency yesterday.

More than £3m has been committed to flood defence work to protect properties in Leeman Road, York, following a petition taken to Number 10 Downing Street by campaigners.

Another £5m is to be spent on improvements to Hull’s flood defences along the River Humber and £4.6m for the third phase of a major scheme in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, has also been approved.

But 71 schemes which were hoped to be brought forward have now been put on hold with “improved costs, reduced outcomes or additional contributions” now necessary in order to proceed.

Among the list is the Brompton Beck flood alleviation scheme, in Northallerton, and a project to prevent flooding in Pickering, one of Yorkshire’s worst blackspots.

Pickering project manager Simon Marrington, told the Yorkshire Post: “We are not going to walk away from this, we want to see a solution brought forward for the community.”

Richard Benyon, Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, said: “The new flood defence schemes announced yesterday will bring huge relief to tens of thousands of households.

“Our investment will protect these communities from the devastating effects of flooding, and reduce the fear and worry of homes being damaged.”