DEVELOPERS finally hope to start one of York’s biggest housing schemes this summer – and have already begun roadworks which they say will help prevent flooding of a key York route.

Persimmon Homes Yorkshire’s £120 million scheme for 655 homes at Germany Beck in Fulford has been beset by delays and controversy, including claims taken to the High Court that the 1066 Battle of Fulford took place there and the site should be protected.

But now managing director Simon Usher has told The Press: “We are hoping to start building houses on the site in August.”

The firm said the scheme will include 227 affordable homes, a £1.75 million contribution to sports facilities and a £2 million contribution to school facilities, and create 120 construction jobs.

Mr Usher said work had begun on the nearby A19 - a major route into the city from Selby and the A64 which was blocked by flooding from the River Ouse in both 2012 and 2015.

He said the firm, which is creating an access road into the development from the A19, was currently installing capping beams on the east side of the road.

“Our redevelopment plans will raise the A19, lifting the junction into Germany Beck out of the flood plain, which will have a positive impact on traffic levels in the area and reduce the risk of road closures,” he said.

“The water that is displaced has been more than compensated for in the new meadow we’ve created upstream and this was completed in advance of the junction works.”

Fulford Parish Council has objected in a letter to City of York Council to a reserved matters planning application for Germany Beck, in relation to the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the homes and associated facilities.

It said essential documents were missing from the application, including an updated site-specific flood risk assessment to deal with housing in flood zones and flood defences, and said the Environmental Statement was silent on the A19 flood defences, which was an ‘unacceptable omission’.

It also claimed design changes had resulted in a ‘characterless and monotonous estate, which lacks distinctiveness and any sense of place’.

City of York Council said it was satisfied that all due planning processes and procedures had been adhered to, and this had been confirmed on several occasion in the courts.

It said road elevation and flood defence works on the A19 would be carried out at the same time as part of the Germany Beck development, which would help mitigate any serious repeat of flooding of the key route into the city. “Works are expected to be carried out in 2017/18.”

It said the council successfully bid for £2 million in Pinch Point Funding from the Government in 2013 towards improvements on the A19, including flood prevention work, intended to complement improvements planned as part of the Germany Beck scheme.

Fulford councillor Keith Aspden said the 2015 Boxing Day floods closed the A19 in Fulford and cut off the Fordlands Road community, and proper investment was needed in flood defences to reduce the risk of a repeat of that chaos. “Any investment that improves the situation is welcome,” he said.

“During this time, I will continue to raise any concerns that local residents have, including with traffic and construction.”