A FEASIBILITY study is being carried out to lessen flood risks in Ryedale.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) is undertaking works, initially in its highest priority locations including Malton, Norton and Old Malton.

A project manager has been appointed by NYCC and Ryedale District Council (RDC) to help to deliver improvements to the pumping arrangements, property resilience and drainage improvements.

Altogether £1.2m has been committed by NYCC, RDC, the Environment Agency and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership for this work, which is being led by the County Council.

In addition, a long-term solution to deliver swift pumping operations has been identified, with contractors to be jointly funded by RDC and NYCC.

Leader of RDC Councillor Keane Duncan said: “RDC is committed to tackling flooding issues in Malton, Norton and elsewhere in the district – and we’ve put our money where our mouth is.

"By working with the County Council, we’ve been able to make real progress already. Our pumping response is swifter and more targeted. Last year, for example, an early response prevented flooding around County Bridge. Now, the task is to secure the funding we need for longer term solutions in order to minimise the risk of flooding.”

Di Keal, RDC for Norton West and flood defence campaigner, said: “Whilst welcoming the fact that pumping capacity and response times to flood incidents has improved with under road and railway line gulleys in Norton which will make a difference to those people whose homes and businesses are still at risk of flooding, the one partner not mentioned is Yorkshire Water.

"Permanent solutions to the sewer flooding in Norton will not be achieved until they are willing to come to the table and invest in their archaic sewer system under the town.

“I am delighted that RDC and NYCC are joint funding a new post to try to resolve the residual flooding problems in the area what local people need is for them to deliver permanent solutions for all areas of Norton, Malton and Old Malton.

"In the long term these must be more cost-effective than relying on emergency plans and repeated scrambles to get pumping in place when a flood is imminent.”

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: “We work closely with other Risk Management Authorities in Ryedale and fully support the feasibility study to investigate what more can be done to help the area become more resilient to flooding.

“We have already invested in an under track pipeline in partnership with Network Rail, enabling emergency pumping to take place.

“Sewer flooding incidents have occurred in Ryedale this year principally due to blockages caused by sewer misuse. We are asking customers to think carefully about what they are putting down their sinks and toilets.”