Good progress is being made on the £100m plans to protect York from the kind of devastating flooding seen on Boxing Day 2015, a meeting heard.
Paula Widdowson, City of York Council’s executive member for environment and climate change, hailed the “fantastic” teamwork between the council and the Environment Agency (EA), who are leading most of the work.
She added: “It’s really good to see we’re talking to each other, anticipating issues, communicating with our residents and working really well.”
Steve Wragg, a flood risk manager at City of York Council, added: “Progress is going well on the various aspects of the Environment Agency-led flood investment programme, which is fantastic.”
In 2015, more than 600 homes and businesses were flooded in York, the telephone exchange was flooded and numerous roads were blocked.
A five year flood plan was developed, with 19 ‘flood cells’ across the city identified for new or improved flood defences.
‘Really complicated’ scheme
In Wednesday’s meeting, EA’s Chris Ashcroft gave updates on the various schemes.
He said the flood gate should be going in this week at Lendal arch to help protect 39 properties from flooding between Scarborough bridge and Ouse bridge.
The EA is on site in Clementhorpe as part of a £7.7m project to help protect 135 properties from flooding.
Mr Ashcroft said the Foss storage area scheme, around 2km north of Strensall, had “been a really complicated one.”
He added: “Weather-dependent, we are hoping to make a minor start on site this year.”
The EA is expecting its contractors to fully hand over the Foss Barrier site, which has seen £28m of investment, to them in January.
“It’s fantastic to see a significant piece of investment in the resilience of York city centre,” Mr Ashcroft added.
Coun Widdowson said: “The way our teams working together is fabulous and the step-change has really ratcheted up even during the pandemic.”
The EA has promised to plant five trees for every one felled during the works.
“It may sound like a small thing but actually it’s huge in the scheme of things because we can get clumps of ten planted around the city,” Coun Widdowson added.