UK Floods – Five-Year Plan to Reduce Flood Risk in York

A new five-year plan to better protect the City of York in England against flooding was announced by the Environment Agency last week.

The plan sets out our options to reduce the risk of flooding to 2,000 properties across 10 York communities over the next five years. It looks at a range of potential flood reduction measures including; the creation of storage areas, increasing pumping capacity, raising and building new walls, raising land and building embankments.

Following the devastating floods of Boxing Day 2015 which affected over 600 properties in York, the government committed £45 million to reduce flood risk and increase resilience to at least 2,000 properties at risk and keep the city open for business during major floods.

Floods in historic Yor, England, December 2015. Photo: Allan Harris / Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Floods in historic Yor, England, December 2015. Photo: Allan Harris / Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tony Andryszewski, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency said:

Flood risk is increasing in York and our existing defences have stood up well to flooding in the past, but with climate change and the threat of flooding increasing we need to act now to reduce flood risk to the properties and businesses in York.

We have listened to what residents and businesses were saying to us back in May and we are now sharing our outline plans at an exhibition on 25 and 26 November at Hotel 53 in York.

The funding announced by government earlier in the year is in addition to the £17 million earmarked for the upgrade and improvement of the Foss Barrier Pumping Station. Our work on the barrier has reached a significant milestone this month in the successful installation of all eight new, high capacity pumps. Achieving this milestone means that the pumping station is able to cope with the highest flows we’ve experienced on the River Foss, providing York with an increased level of resilience this winter.

Looking further ahead the ambition is to develop a longer term plan for the city concentrating on the wider Ouse catchment and exploring options such as stemming the flow and holding it in the peat on the moors and also creating storage in the washlands in the upper catchment.

The Environment Agency will begin consultation with key partners and community groups on the development of this longer-term plan to manage flood risk across York in April next year.

See here for more details of the plan.

Source: Environment Agency