Plans to upgrade drainage in city could end up costing £5m

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A SCHEME to improve surface drainage in York could cost £5m.

Members of York Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve a new action plan that will put measures in place to manage surface water flood risks in the city.

Councillors will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to approve a plan to manage flood risk through a partnership approach with Yorkshire Water Services, 
the Environment Agency, individual land and drain owners and others.

A report, to be considered by members, says: “On the basis of expenditure of £855k since 2008 and the progress that has been made, it is estimated that further funding of £5m will be required to investigate, record and bring up to a satisfactory standard the council’s drainage infrastructure.”

The report says studies have shown drains are often unrecorded and, when found, frequently blocked with roots and silt, or sometimes damaged due to utility or other excavations. The plan calls for future development to be managed so flood risks are minimised.

York Council says there are already response procedures in place for the effects of river flooding but the new proposed strategy will offer a more considered approach to the effects of local rainfall floods.

The proposal will not prevent flooding but will ensure that flood risks are managed effectively with available resources.

If the plans are approved by councillors, a review will then be carried out on its highway maintenance service to ensure flood risk management is taken into account when decisions are made.

Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability said: “This plan will be a significant step forward to addressing local flood risks more effectively, and follows from the national Pitt review of how flood management is addressed.

“Local drainage has been a cinderella area because of varied ownership and responsibilities, and inadequate record and maintenance. This plan will start to address these,”