Tadcaster Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) Information Page

Closes 31 Mar 2023

Opened 26 Aug 2020

Overview

 

We can't prevent flooding from rivers and streams entirely, but we can reduce the risk of flooding. By working with our partners and people who are at risk, we can minimise it’s effects and reduce the damage it causes.

 

Welcome to the Tadcaster Flood Alleviation Scheme Information Page.

We have created this page to share information and updates on the planned flood alleviation scheme for Tadcaster. We will continue to add information to this site as the scheme progresses. 

We also post information on our Facebook (@TadcasterFAS) and Twitter (@EnvAgencyYNE) pages.

We issue regular newsletters. To request our most recent newsletter in an accessible format, or to be added to the mailing list please email us at tadcasterfas@environment-agency.gov.uk

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Background

Tadcaster is a brewery town located approximately 12 miles from Leeds and 10 miles from York in the county of North Yorkshire. It is situated on the River Wharfe; the road bridge crossing the river in the centre of the town is a vital route connecting communities on the two sides of the town.

The town’s existing flood defences were constructed in the 1980s, and comprise of a combination of raised embankments and flood walls along both banks of the River Wharfe.  There are also a series of washlands upstream and downstream of the town known as Tadcaster Ings. The Ings are designed to store water in order to reduce flood levels and can regularly be seen holding water after periods of high rainfall and river levels.

Whilst these defences have protected the town many times from flooding over the years, more recently the frequency and severity of events have resulted in the town suffering a number of flooding events.

Aerial photograph of flooding in Tadcaster, December 2015 Aerial photograph of flooding in Tadcaster December 2015

Boxing Day 2015

Widespread and substantial rain fell over West and North Yorkshire throughout November and December 2015. Many rivers, including the Wharfe, recorded their highest ever flows by a significant margin during December 2015. On the 25th – 26th December heavy rainfall associated with Storm Eva saw the River Wharfe flowing at Tadcaster reach its highest ever recorded level on the town’s gauge (4.51m) and overtop the town’s existing flood defences. In total 79 properties (36 homes and 43 businesses) in the town were flooded. The flooding and subsequent collapse of Tadcaster Bridge resulted in the closure of the A659 at the bridge, separating the two sides of the town either side of the River Wharfe.

Tadcaster Bridge collapse, December 2015Tadcaster Bridge collapse, December 2015 – image courtesy of David Lindsay Photography

21st February 2022

Between the 15th and 21st February 2022, the impact of storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin were felt across Yorkshire and although the primary concern of the first two storms was strong winds, they came with reasonable volumes of rainfall over a short period. This was followed by storm Franklin, where in some locations an average monthly rainfall fell in a 24–48-hour period. The River Wharfe was one of the catchments impacted and this led to the second highest ever recorded river level at the Tadcaster Gauging Station, peaking at 3.951m (10.499mAOD).
The defenses began to be overwhelmed in Tadcaster from around 4:15am, resulting in water coming over the defenses on the east side and then the west. Water from the river combined with a build-up of surface water and water from the sewers which were at full capacity.
This sadly led to 70 properties and business being directly impacted by the flooding.

Funding a new Flood Alleviation Scheme

In 2017 a review was conducted to help identify a potential new flood alleviation scheme that could reduce flood risk whilst being acceptable to the local community, after a previous scheme was unsuccessful in obtaining planning permission in 2005. The review identified the cost of a suitable scheme to be in the region of £10 million. 

So far, we have been allocated £1.7 million from Flood Defence Grant in Aid, £25'000 from North Yorkshire County Council, £1.02 million from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership and in September 2019, a further £9 million from a government fund to better protect communities from flooding. This funding is secured to improve the current flood defences in Tadcaster. 

 

Tadcaster FAS Progress Update - July 2022

Updates to the hydrological model used to represent flood risk and hydrological conditions of the river are almost complete. We now have a running hydraulic model after a redesign of the software; this is giving us the required information on the possible water levels during a number of different flow events coming down the River Wharfe, both for the present day and with the impacts of climate change. This critical information provides the basis on which the scheme is to be designed and helps ensure the height of any proposed defences and volumes of any storage components of the solution are correct, ultimately ensuring that the level of flood risk protection provided is known and understood. 

Ground investigations The ground investigation works are now complete a week earlier than planned. The soil samples are currently being analysed by our laboratories; results are expected back in approximately 4 weeks time. 

We brought in our specialist field teams to deliver asset resilience improvements to the current flood defences. Four locations were identified in partnership with Tadcaster flood groups. We are pleased to inform you this has now been completed, as well as the removal of some of the debris from the February flooding.

Next steps

Once the model has been updated, we will begin a process where various potential options for reducing flood risk are assessed, using the newly updated hydrological model. This process considers a wide range of criteria, including technical, environmental, economic and financial assessments, to arrive at a preferred options for the scheme. During this process there will be opportunities for you, the community, to feed in your thoughts to ensure your views are considered. Following this, activities such as the final design and planning permission are undertaken and the final business case submitted for approval to enable construction activities to start.

Working with the Community 

It is important to us that residents, businesses and land owners have the opportunity to give us their views on the scheme. 

To this end we have continued to work with the town’s residents, businesses and other stakeholders including: York and North Yorkshire LEP, North Yorkshire County Council, Selby District Council, Tadcaster Town Council, the office of Nigel Adams MP, the Tadcaster Flood Action Group, and members of the local community including residents and businesses.

High river levels at the repaired Tadcaster road bridge, March 2020

High river levels at the repaired Tadcaster road bridge, March 2020 – image courtesy of David Lindsay Photography

The Tadcaster Community Client Group has also been established to provide town representation on the project. We are working together so that the town has its voice heard, feels listened to and responded to. The group also helps disseminate and collate information through their networks; as well as contacting us directly, you can also speak to your local contacts, listed below, to help feedback your comments.

The group members are:

  • Tadcaster Town Council – Cllr Steve Cobb
  • Office of Nigel Adams MP – Howard Ferguson
  • Tadcaster Flood Action Group – Nicola Eades
  • Tadcaster Flood Prevention Group – Patrick Tunney
  • Tadcaster Businesses – David Gluck
  • Tadcaster Residents (East and West) – Mick Malkinson, Dave Lindsay & John Horton
  • Tadcaster Medical Centre – Dr Andrew Inglis
  • Tadcaster Albion AFC – Andrew Charlesworth
  • Tadcaster Angling Association – Chris Burton
  • Tadcaster Historical Society – John Firth
  • Selby District Council – Cllr Richard Sweeting
  • North Yorkshire County Council – Cllr Caroline Goodrick

Timescale 

Throughout 2022, we will progress investigation work, business case development and outline design. In 2023 we plan to assess options and move to the detailed design stage; construction will begin in 2024. We are currently scheduled to complete the scheme by the end of 2026.

 

How you can get involved

We always seek to engage with the local community during the development of a scheme to ensure that we listen to and learn from others views. Where possible, we also seek opportunities within the design of our schemes to further enhance the river environment. Engagement will increase as we begin to shape a shortlist of options as we move towards a final design.

Future events will be planned to ask the community to provide additional comments on the finished look of the scheme (for example defence height, defence type, finish etc).  These will also be advertised using this information page, our Facebook page, twitter, and the local media.

 

We would encourage all interested parties to sign up to our updates by registering your interest at tadcasterfas@environment-agency.gov.uk . We would also encourage you to support any family members, friends or neighbours who cannot access online information, by sharing our updates with them.

We will continue to keep you updated. If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime you can contact us in the following ways:

Be prepared 

Remember that homes and businesses which receive increased protection are still at risk of flooding. (To view a larger version of this leaflet - Flood Warnings Leaflet)

 - More Information

Please continue to be prepared and resilient towards flooding by signing up to receive advanced warnings of flooding. Register by calling Floodline 0345 988 1188, or visiting www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings . If you are already registered to the Floodline Warning Service, again please check if your details need updating by visiting www.fws.environment-agency.gov.uk/app/olr/login .
Tadcaster Flood Action Group also provide an excellent local service. Please sign up for their system which is linked to our incident response. You can do this by visiting www.tadcasterfloodaction.org/  or www.facebook.com/Tadflood/.
You can also download and keep a copy of the guide explaining flood alerts and flood warnings for Tadcaster by visiting www.tadcasterfloodaction.org/what-we-do

Did you find this Information Page useful?

We are keen to find out whether our on-line Information Pages are useful to you, and if this way of keeping you informed is successful.

We very much welcome your feedback on this information page and your feedback will help us to keep improving.

Please click on the link, or download and return the feedback form below.

Give us your feedback

Audiences

  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • Town and parish councils
  • Regional Flood and Coastal Committees

Interests

  • Flood management