A ground breaking ceremony was held yesterday (Thursday 13 September) to mark the start of construction on the East Riding’s latest multi-million-pound flood scheme.
Work begin this week on the Pocklington Flood Alleviation Scheme (PockFAS), which is designed to reduce the risk of flooding to around 140 properties in the market town of Pocklington.
Pocklington was badly affected by flooding in the summer of 2007 and has suffered further flooding since then.
The new scheme, costing £4.7million, involves the construction of a dam, to create a water storage reservoir, upstream and north east of the town, off The Mile.
The dam is designed to capture and store flood waters from Pocklington Beck at times of heavy rainfall, to prevent it from causing flooding in the town.
The dam will be capable of storing up to around 90,000 cubic metres of water – the equivalent of 36 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The works will involve the construction of a large embankment approximately 600m long and up to 4.5m high, at its highest point, plus the construction of a flow control structure. Together they are designed to hold back flood water and release flows in a controlled manner.
The project is due for completion in spring 2019.
The scheme is being delivered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council in partnership with the Environment Agency and supported by the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.
The scheme is being funded by Flood Defence Grant in Aid and Local Levy, administered by the Environment Agency; Local Growth Fund money through the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal; and by housing developer Persimmon Homes Yorkshire.
York-based Persimmon Homes made a sizeable contribution which was vital to the formation of the flood scheme.
It followed the approval of plans for a housing development nearby. The site had already been allocated for housing in the council’s Local Plan subject to the delivery of a flood scheme to benefit Pocklington.
PockFAS is one of only a few flood schemes in the country to be partly-funded by the private sector.
Work on the Pocklington flood scheme will be carried out by council contractor NM Group (North Midland Construction Plc).
Councillor Symon Fraser, portfolio holder for strategic asset management, housing and environment at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “This is an example of another fantastic partnership-funded flood scheme, and in this case a local developer has contributed the lion’s share of the funding to allow us to deliver these essential improvements.
“Once complete the scheme will reduce flood risk to many properties in Pocklington and I look forward to seeing the scheme progress over the coming months.”
Simon Usher, managing director for Persimmon Homes Yorkshire said: “We are pleased that our development, The Mile, will not only provide much-needed new homes in the area but is able to support such a significant flood alleviation scheme for the town.
“We hope our £3million contribution will help protect many homes and premises within Pocklington.”
Neil Longden, Environment Agency flood risk manager, said: “The start of construction work on the Pocklington Flood Alleviation Scheme is a major milestone, which stems from the strength of our East Yorkshire Partnership and our collective commitment to reducing flood risk.
“This scheme is also a fantastic example of how flood risk can be reduced through both public and private sector funding. It is a really positive step to see a company like Persimmon contributing to the scheme.
“As with any flood alleviation scheme, this does not completely remove the risk of flooding. We urge people to check their flood risk and sign up to flood warnings at www.gov.uk/flood.”
So far more than £50million has been invested in helping to protect communities in the East Riding from the affects of flooding.
Pocklington is the fifth major flood alleviation scheme to begin construction in the East Riding, following projects for Anlaby and East Ella, Cottingham and Orchard Park, Willerby and Derringham, and the Paull Tidal Defence Scheme.
Together they are designed to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 23,000 properties.