WORK is set to begin on a multi-million pound project intended to protect homes in a flood-prone area of York.
The Environment Agency hosted a public meeting at St Barnabas’ School on Tuesday to give residents of Water End an insight into the building work, which will begin at the end of this month.
The agency said the £3.2million scheme, which is partly funded with £1million from City of York Council, will reduce the flood risk to almost 400 homes and businesses in the Water End area.
Project manager Helen Tattersdale said: “The area has a long history of flooding from the River Ouse. Surface water and sewers also contribute to flood problems, but our scheme will provide a solution to many of the difficulties faced by residents.”
The scheme, which is expected to take 12 months to complete, will involve building a new brick-clad flood wall, approximately 300 metres long, along a section of Water End between Landing Lane and Clifton Bridge. New defences will also be created around Landing Lane.
The existing embankment behind Swinerton Avenue and the parkland behind St Barnabas’ School will also be raised.
Work will also be carried out to reduce seepage through the existing embankments, while an early phase of construction will involve replacing existing underground valves, known as penstocks, with new ones to stop river water entering Yorkshire Water’s system.
Mark Fuller, a technical specialist with the agency, said: “These will be tight-fitting and able to cope with an increased pressure of water.
“This element of the scheme alone should make a real difference if we have a repeat of the kind of flooding we experienced in September 2012.”
Contractors will now set up site offices on the former bowling green in Salisbury Road. They promise disruption will be kept to a minimum. Energy company Northern Powergrid will also be working in the area to replace an electricity cable.
This work needs to be completed before work can begin on the Water End flood wall and on raising the existing embankment.
More information on the scheme can be found at environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/135878.aspx