Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change Decision Session


5th May 2021

Report of the Director of Economy & Place


York 5 Year Flood Plan Update




1.        The flooding in late December 2015 followed an intense period of rainfall across November and December due to the impacts of Storms Desmond and Eva. Record river levels were observed in many river catchments across the north of England. More than 4000 homes and 2000 businesses flooded across Yorkshire with 453 properties and 174 businesses flooded in York.

2.        Funding has been allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) following the floods to renew existing and provide new flood defences across the city, £28m has been allocated to the Foss Barrier improvements and a total of £64m to the wider flood defences across the city.

3.        An update on progress has been supplied by the EA, this can be seen in Annex 1. A further paper providing more context on the current programme of funding and it’s potential outcomes is provided as Annex 2.

4.        City of York Council are leading on the development of the scheme in Fulford, approvals and contract award has been made to take this scheme through the detailed design and planning stage, work has commenced and a number of design meetings, review sessions and community meetings have been held.

5.        City of York Council have developed a proposal for Defra’s Innovative Flood Resilience Grant to support catchment scale natural flood risk management solutions which would be funded through the utilisation of innovative modelling linking beneficiaries with those that can provide the services upstream. Financial modelling will identify the ways in which the services could be funded. The proposal was successful and funding has been provided for a development phase through to September to finalise the business case. An overview of the project is provided at Annex 3.


6.        The Executive Member for the Environment and Climate Change is asked to note the updated report and the evidence presented by the Environment Agency in the session, feedback is sought from the Executive Member on all content.


7.        Following the development and publication of the York Five Year Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/york-5-year-flood-plan) the EA have developed the Defra Strategic Outline Business Case and financial approvals have been sought and obtained from Defra. Detailed businesses cases are being developed for 19 flood cells across the city.

8.        The Environment Agency continue to work closely with City of York Council on all aspects of the York Five Year Plan, an update has been provided by the EA at Annex 1.

9.        Although significant funding is available across the programme the EA are currently reviewing the existing allocations across all projects to account for changes in project costs and the reallocation of unutilised risk allocations. A summary is provided in Annex 2 to support the review, input form CYC is sought via the meeting discussion.

10.    Following an outline appraisal a preferred option of defences and a pumping station have been identified to provide protection to homes and maintain access on Fordlands Road during flooding. The scheme will also aid future flood resilience on the A19. The scheme was considered in the August 2020 Executive Member for the Environment and Climate Change Decision Session:


11.    Consultants have been procured to deliver the detailed design and to work up all planning approval submissions for the scheme. Work began on the commission during March 21, consultants have reviewed existing modelling and are in the process of updating modelling to support the design of the scheme. A number of design sessions have been held to gather input from a range of technical consultees. A meeting was held on 15th April with the ward councillor and members of the public to update on the scheme, answer questions and gather information.

12.    Government have made £150m available to 25 projects across England, the successful projects will all deliver innovative resilience solutions within their project areas. CYC developed a project with North Yorkshire County Council, EA, JBA Consulting, University of York, Dales Rivers Trust, Yorkshire Dales National Park and a range of other catchment partners to develop flood modelling that will target deliverable natural flood solutions to upstream rural communities and link the outcomes to those who benefit downstream – North Yorkshire towns and villages and the city of York.

13.    A range of potential financial opportunities to deliver the works will be identified and the linkages made between those who can supply the services with those who will benefit will be developed and supported to increase the uptake and delivery of natural flood risk management solutions across the River Swale, Ure, Nidd and Ouse catchments.

14.    Our bid was successful and the project will be supported for the next 5 years, initial funding has been provided for a development phase running through the current financial year where the final business case will be developed and agreed. The full project will commence immediately after. An overview of the project tis provided at Annex 3, further papers will be provided through CYC governance processes as the business case progresses.


15.    Public consultation on the York Five Year Plan continues through a range of flood cells, this is detailed in the update in Annex 1 along with the programme of future consultation events.

16.    Consultation on the Germany Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme will continue as the design work commences.


17.    The principal options open to the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change are to comment on and review the work undertaken to date, the future work identified and the representations made by the Environment Agency.



18.    Ongoing liaison will continue between the Executive Member for Environment and the CYC Flood Risk Manager, future briefings to the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change Decision Session will be made to ensure key outputs and decisions are supported by CYC and to provide formal opportunities for members and the public to consult. Further recommendations will be made for agreement at these sessions.

Council Plan

19.    Improved provision of flood defences supports a prosperous city for all through safer communities for residents, businesses and visitors, a wide range of consultation events will ensure this is in line with the needs and expectations of local communities.


20.    Financial Funding is allocated directly to the EA, the additional funding is available to be directed towards key flood risk projects in the city in the short term. The extent of required works may require wider funding and Defra funding bids will be developed. There are likely to be contribution requirements as part of this wider work.

21.    Property – The Site Investigation programme will include sites under CYC ownership and/or control, consultation will be carried out with Estates teams and all relevant agreements will be put in place.


22.    Human Resources (HR) – No implications

One Planet Council/Equalities – No implications

Legal – No implications

Crime and Disorder – No implications

Information Technology (IT) – No implication

Risk Management

23.    No known risks are identified at this time, detailed risk management work will be developed as the business case and detailed design works commence.

Contact Details




Steve Wragg


Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Neil Ferris

Flood Risk Manager



Director of Economy & Place


Report Approved










Wards Affected:  List wards or tick box to indicate all






For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers: None


Annexes:  Annex 1 York 5 Year Flood Plan Update May21

                        Annex 2 York 5 Year Flood Plan Update May21

Annex 3 York 5 Year Flood Plan Update May21 – Innovative Resilience Fund