The draft local plan, which goes out for consultation on Friday, proposes nearly trebling the number of houses to be built in Howden by 2039, from 800 in the current plan, to 2,140.
The figure includes 900 homes that will no longer be built in nearby Goole, following a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment published in September 2020.
Developers whose sites have been “deallocated” are likely to object, but Howden’s mayor is urging a pragmatic approach.
After the 10-week consultation is finished, the plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State, who will appoint an Inspector to carry out an independent examination.
Nicola Sworowski, the East Riding Council’s forward planning, housing strategy and development manager, said they expected “an element of pushback” from developers, but had the backing of the Environment Agency.
She said if a breach occurred at Goole, water could be nearly a metre deep within 30 minutes in the immediate vicinity of the river. She said: “If there was a breach on a tidal river the water just keeps coming in. I have to stress it is highly unlikely there would be a breach, if there were, there would be a risk to life in some parts of Goole.”
Sites that have planning permission as of April 2020 - 855 homes - are allowed and an around 800-home scheme currently being built off Rawcliffe Road will be completed.
Because of employment growth in Goole, houses are needed in the vicinity, and “we can make Howden deliver” said Ms Sworowki, who expects 1,400 of the 2,140 homes to be built by 2039.
Howden Mayor Hugh Roberts said the proposals would see 50 per cent more houses built in Howden. The town had a population of 4,142 in the 2011 census.
A masterplan is being drawn up for a “sustainable” urban extension to the northeast with new employment, retail, community and open spaces and a link road. Mr Roberts said it would solve the pressing need for a relief road “to take the HGVs out of the centre of Howden, which has been a real problem for a long time.”
Their key asks also include upgrades for the sewage system and surface water network. In heavy rainfall, he said the system backs up with sewage “coming up in people’s gardens”.
People, he said, were more likely to accept the huge increase in the number of houses if the three issues were resolved. He said: “They won’t like it but they will realise if the issues are to be resolved, someone has to pay for it and the developer will pay for it.”
He urged people to engage with the consultation “rather than shout about it at a later stage”, adding: “There are going to be benefits and disbenefits but the more we can work with developers and the forward planning team, the more we can get out of it that will benefit Howden. We will get as much as we can out of it all”.