A £5.3 MILLION scheme to protect a York community and main road from flooding is set to take a major step forward.

Liberal Democrats say a planning application is set to be submitted and a contractor procured for the Fulford flood defence project.

A party spokesperson said the scheme would directly protect 43 properties when the River Ouse floods, and also help prevent the A19 being blocked by floodwaters and maintain access to 300 properties on the Fordlands estate.

When the Ouse has risen exceptionally high in the past, such as in November 2000 and late December 2015, the A19 has been impassable, with cars and buses having to take lengthy diversions via the A64 and A1070 Hull Road to get into and out of York.

A low section of Fordlands Road has also been regularly blocked, with a temporary footbridge sometimes built so local residents can get to and from their homes and volunteer rescuers sometimes ferrying them through the floodwaters in a 4X4 vehicle.

The spokesperson said that senior councillors will receive a report at a meeting on Thursday, requesting approval to submit a planning application and procure a contractor to carry out the construction phase.

They said: "Following extensive local investigations and assessments, a preferred option for a joined-up flood defence solution has been identified and would see high river levels in the River Ouse from Germany Beck and Tunnel Drain isolated. A pumping station would maintain lower river levels in these watercourses."

They said last year’s council budget proposals had agreed a £2 million investment in the delivery of a joined up flood scheme, which in total had unlocked a £5.3 million budget made up from council’s capital funding, Environment Agency and Defra.

Since then the project had been 'progressing at pace,' with design works and a wide range of surveys and assessments taking place to support the planning permissions needed to progress.

"Following approval by the council’s executive, a planning application for the project will be submitted, after which a contractor can be procured."

Fulford LibDem councillor Keith Aspden, who has long campaigned with local residents to secure funding for additional flood defences, said frequent floods over many years had 'over and over' highlighted the need for an improved and joined-up flood plan.

"This plan must protect Germany Beck as well as the Fordlands Road and Fordlands Crescent communities, in addition to the thousands of motorists on the A19," he said.

"I am delighted that a £5.3 million funding package has been drawn together to make this crucial campaign a reality."

The council leader added that residents' views and involvement would be crucial, including through a planning consultation process, so further local meetings to update residents on the progress of the project would take place early next year.