PLANS have been submitted for a new flood storage area that would hold back a million cubic metres of water from the River Foss - protecting 490 homes in the city.

The Environment Agency will create the water storage area further upstream of the river, on agricultural land north of Strensall.

The planning application says a bank would be constructed around the 151-hectare site.

And a concrete wall will be built with an opening in it that will restrict the flow of flood water to a normal rate of 10 metres cubed per second.

It says: "Under flood conditions the flow rate will not exceed this limit leading to excess water building up behind the flow structure and the embankment.

"Without any further interventions it is calculated that a total of 465 residential and 25 non-residential properties are at risk of flooding downstream along the Foss corridor from Strensall to York’s urban area.

"The project outlined in this application will restrict the maximum flow of the Foss meaning that during flood conditions excess water will back up and be temporarily stored behind an embankment thereby preventing this water flowing downstream.

"This will protect not only the vulnerable properties in the Foss corridor but also contribute to protecting other areas in York liable to flooding by not adding to the flow."

The area is no like a reservoir and will not store water permanently - but will only fill up for a short time during flooding.

The Foss flood storage area is part of the Environment Agency's £45 million city-wide flood alleviation work.

The site lies within Green Belt land and will have to win approval from both City of York Council and Ryedale Council before work can start - which is due to be in 2020.

The scheme aims to encourage a wetland habitat for wildlife and the organisation is working with Natural England and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to boost environmental benefits.

Much of the material for the new embankment will be taken from within the site.