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3.2 million pound flood scheme secured for


11:42am 9th February 2012

A £3.2 million flood defence scheme for the Leeman Road area of York will go ahead later this year after the Environment Agency’s bid for Government funding was approved.

City of York Council had already committed £1 million towards the cost of the scheme and the rest of the money has now been secured, Defra and the Environment Agency has confirmed.

Today’s announcement for the Leeman Road area is one of sixty flood and coastal risk schemes which will begin construction in the next financial year.

It means that more than 25,000 more homes will be better protected and new estimates show that the Environment Agency is on track to exceed its target of better protecting 145,000 homes by 2015.

The Water End Flood Alleviation Scheme is designed to reduce the risk of flooding to approximately 400 homes and businesses and the Environment Agency has been consulting with the community and other key stakeholders for two years as part of its planning and design process.

Environment Agency project manager, Bethany Gardner, said:

“A significant financial contribution from City of York Council last year enabled us to continue with our design and preparatory work, and we have now secured funding and plan to start construction in Autumn 2012. However, before construction can take place, it will be necessary to divert a high voltage cable which runs alongside Water End and under the existing flood bank.

“We are working with the power supplier, Northern Power Grid, and other key partners, such as the local authority and Yorkshire Water, to determine how best this can be achieved so any local disruption is kept to a minimum. We hope to start work on the cable diversion in the next few months.

“We will be finalising our detailed design, taking account of what local people told us at a community drop-in event on January 10, and we hope to be able to submit our planning application for the work in March or April.”

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for City Strategy at City of York Council, said:

“This is fantastic news, which I’m sure will be a huge relief for local residents. We have committed a significant sum of local money to help secure this scheme and enable an improved standard of protection for the Leeman Road area. The scheme will protect properties, businesses and the Water End link itself and make a real difference to improving peoples’ lives.”

Partnership funding was introduced in May 2011 and encourages cost savings and external contributions so that taxpayer’s money is spread across more flood and coastal risk schemes. It gives local people greater choice about what flood protection is provided in their area.

Richard Benyon, Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, said:

“The new flood defence schemes announced today will bring huge relief to tens of thousands of households. Our investment will protect these communities from the devastating effects of flooding, and allow residents to live without the fear and worry of their homes being damaged.

“Small towns like Cockermouth and Morpeth became household names after the devastation and distress caused by flooding in recent years. Today, residents here and in many towns across the country are reaping the rewards of the partnership funding model brought in to enable more flood defence schemes to go ahead. We now expect to exceed our goal to protect 145,000 more homes from flooding by 2015.”

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