A £5.3m flood protection scheme for a York suburb looks set to get the final go-ahead next week.

The Fulford Flood Alleviation Scheme comes before the City of York Planning Committee on Tuesday and is recommended for approval.

The move follows the previous Liberal Democrat-led council last December announcing it would take a lead in devising a flood protection scheme with the Environment Agency and submitting ‘fish-friendly’ plans for it in February.

Fulford has suffered substantial flooding in 2015, 2019, and 2021, with properties avoiding flooding only through operational interventions.


The new scheme promises to prevent the River Ouse from flooding Germany Beck and Tunnel Drain by using a pumping station to maintain lower river levels. The work would take place on both sides of the A19 and include embankments and floodwalls.

This will help better protect 43 properties from current flood risks, ensure access is maintained too more than 300 properties in Fordland’s Road area and safeguard over 16,000 daily journeys on the A19 when flooding occurs.

York Press:

A report by council planning staff prepared for the meeting said Fulford Parish Council supports the aims if the scheme to “provide much needed flood protection to homes and roads in the vicinity of Germany Beck.”

But the council raised concerns over the loss of open space in the Green Belt scheme. It regretted the loss of trees for the scheme but this would be offset by “significant new planting.”

Historic England had no objection on heritage grounds and Natural England had no objection subject to appropriate mitigation being secured.

The report said former ward councillor and council leader Keith Aspden wrote to the council backing the scheme, whilst still a member of the council.

York Press:

There was a need for a “permanent solution” for the whole area, to “end the upheaval and disruption caused to lives.”

Council planners said the pumping station and earthworks would harm the openness of the Green Belt location, so Very Special Circumstances were needed for councillors to grant approval.

But, recommending approval, they said the proposals for the flood alleviation scheme “are clearly justified and necessary in this location.”

The scheme, they continued, would “provide wider sustainability benefits to the community and reduce flood risk overall, in particular around the A19 (Selby Road), Fordland’s Estate and the Cemetery.”

Such benefits were Very Special Circumstances, which outweighed any harm the scheme would bring. It would also not affect any future designation of the nearby battlefield and there would be landscaping and tree-planting. The wider Fulford Ings should not be affected either.

They concluded: “On planning balance and taking all matters into consideration, including attaching substantial weight to the public benefits arising from the development, the application accords with the provisions of national planning policy and policies within the Draft Local Plan (2018) and is therefore recommended for approval subject to conditions.”