Bid to improve York’s flood defences

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ONE of Yorkshire’s flooding blackspots could receive a boost to improve its defences over the next six years with a new study undertaken to re-evaluate risks of future deluges.

York Council bosses have made a bid to the Environment Agency and the Government for an undisclosed sum to carry out the research to look at the case for upgrading and enhancing York’s defences to counter the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

The bid comes as the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee this month submitted its draft six-year programme of flood defence work for the region. Identified within this programme are several schemes to improve defences along the River Ouse and River Foss such as upgrades to the Foss Barrier pumps, renovation to flood gates and improvements to existing flood banks.

Within the proposals is a new study to assess improvements to raise the existing River Ouse defences which would protect 3,800 homes. However, even if successful, the bid would require substantial external contributions before any work could proceed.

Coun Dave Merrett, the council’s cabinet member for environmental services, planning and sustainability said: “Whilst York’s flood defences have helped to protect thousands of homes over recent decades, upgrades and further enhancements are going to be required given the adverse changes in weather patterns and the expected future impacts of climate change.”

The Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will agree an indicative six-year programme by the end of June.