A WATER-FILLED 'sausage' AqauDam will be put up this weekend by residents in a North Yorkshire village in a bid to prevent flooding.

Residents in Kirkby Wharfe, Tadcaster, have purchased a £25,000 AquaDam and will be putting it up today (Saturday) in preparation for flooding expected over the coming days.

Spokesman for the residents Richard Oldfield said they have decided to take matters into their own hands after the Environmental Agency objected to their attempts to build a flood defence.

He said: “Following the 2015 floods we gathered together a local authority grant proposal, with the aim of constructing our own plastic sheet wall flood defence.

“The wall was to be timber clad to give the impression of a solid boundary fence, but the Environment Agency objected on the grounds of Reservoir Safety." Selby council confirmed that an application was received in 2016.

Mr Oldfield added: “Since the objection, we have engaged with the agency in an attempt to get the flood defence built. To date, progress has been none existent. In 2019, the agency was granted £38,000 to investigate and design a village flood defence, but chose to provide further resilience to the very reservoir embankments that are the cause of our flooding.”

Mr Oldfield said that the group decided to pool together money it had received from North Yorkshire County Council Renewal and Resistance funding, following the 2015 floods. He said: “Collectively, our houses are worth over £1.5 million and we need to use this AquaDam to repel the storm waters which will inevitably cause flooding over the weekend. One property has already been damaged five times.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We continue to work on providing a solution for Kirkby Wharfe. We secured £38,000 of local levy funding from the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and have undertaken a survey, hydrological modelling and have produced draft plans for a defence. We are currently determining the best value-for-money options.”

It added that an environmental engineer reviewed the residents' flood defence plan design in 2017 but it did not meet the legal standards required.