Following two successful petitions and campaign efforts over a number of years, Cllr Keith Aspden, the Liberal Democrat local councillor for Fulford and Heslington, was delighted to report earlier in the month that £2m from the Council has been proposed to unlock an up to £4.9m package to complete the joined-up flood defence work for Fulford.
With Storm Christoph underway, the Council installed yesterday temporary flood defences, including pumps and a walkway, to protect the residents of the Fordlands Road and Fordlands Crescent area and the A19. The temporary walkway has been installed for the first time to ensure safe pedestrian access if the road is blocked and as unfortunately, the 4x4 vehicles deployed last year during Storm Dennis cannot be used due to current national legislation regarding Covid-19.
In the Council budget for 2021/22 (to be confirmed on 25th February 2021) £2m is proposed for the delivery of a joined up flood scheme. This new £2 million will then unlock the £600,000 already agreed by the Council, £1m for flood schemes, and a new £1.3m contribution from partners, primarily the Environment Agency.
In the wake of Storm Christoph, Storm Dennis and recurrent flooding affecting the A19, Fordlands Road and Fordlands Crescent communities, Cllr Keith Aspden relaunched his campaign last year for a joined-up flood plan. Keith has long campaigned with local residents and representatives from the Parish Council to secure additional funding for flood defences, and previously secured the £600,000 for new flood defences.
The proposed solution, which can now be funded with the up to £4.9m, consists of the following:
● The flood wall to be extended to tie into high ground and allow access to the pumping station;
● New flap valve to be installed on the existing Germany Beck Culvert;
● New pumping station to be installed.
Further information, including community consultation, planning and designs, will be sent to local residents this year. The outline business case of the proposal has already been completed. With the new funding in place, by the end of September 2021, detailed designs and planning approvals will now be progressed. Following consideration of construction partners, the scheme could then be built in late 2021 or spring 2022.
Cllr Keith Aspden commented:
“Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to the frontline staff, who continue to work incredibly hard to protect residents in what are challenging circumstances, particularly in a year such as this. Their efforts and commitment are very much recognised and appreciated by the local community as well as the whole city.
“After years of petitions and campaigning with local residents, I am delighted that a £4.9 million funding package has been drawn together. This is a very significant step forward for our local community.
“We know that due to the recurring flooding locally, particularly now with Storm Christoph and as we look at the temporary walkway, that there is an urgent need for an improved and joined-up flood plan, one that protects the A19 and Germany Beck, whilst at the same time protecting the Fordlands Road and Fordlands Crescent communities.
“We now need to make sure that this scheme happens as quickly as possible, with detailed designs and planning approvals this year. Local residents must be consulted openly and honestly on any designs, in order to ensure any scheme meets the wider community’s needs.”