Yorkshire councils review housing plans after flooding

Hebden Bridge was among the areas hit by flooding
Hebden Bridge was among the areas hit by flooding
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YORKSHIRE COUNCILS in areas hit by the winter floods have confirmed they are reviewing their plans for future housing.

Calderdale, York and Leeds councils will look at whether sites for new housing remain suitable in the light of the latest floods.

The Boxing Day floods has provoked a fresh debate both over where homes are built as well as the need to review flood defences.

Local Government Secretary Greg Clark has previously told councils to produce local plans by next year identifying land to meet housing needs for the next 15 years.

Calderdale Council is currently considering which sites to include and a report for councillors said the authority “will now need to revisit this exercise because our understanding of risk levels in different parts of the [Calder]valley is very likely to change”.

Coun Barry Collins, the cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We will continue to carefully consider the implications of flooding as the Local Plan progresses towards adoption in late 2017, and when assessing planning applications.”

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said it was working with the Environment Agency to ensure “concerns that they may have on individual sites, including those affected by the recent floods, are fully taken into account.”

Neil Ferris, York Council’s acting director of city and environmental services, said: “The council has undertaken a piece of work in recent years to indentify almost 4,000 homes and businesses that are located in flood risk areas through its now adopted local flood risk strategy. This was produced with key partners including the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and North Yorkshire County Council.

“As an evolving document, it provides an ongoing comprehensive framework for managing York’s flood risk. As new technical information associated with flood risk management evolves, and real events occur such as the recent floods in York, it will need to be changed to take this new information into account.”