York Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) The Clifton & Rawcliffe Community Information Page

Closes 31 Dec 2021

Opened 19 Nov 2018


 This page focuses on proposed work in the following flood cells located along the River Ouse:

  • The Clifton and Rawcliffe Flood Cell
  • The Coppins Farm to Scarborough Bridge Flood Cell


Clifton and Rawcliffe

The Problem

Flooding is not a new occurrence in Clifton and Rawcliffe.  Both neighbourhoods have been subjected to repeated and extensive flooding in the past.  During the floods in 2000, water from the river outflanked our flood defences, spilled onto Shipton Road and flooded over 100 homes.  The flood basin at Blue Beck also exceeded its capacity in 2000 and 2015 and water ‘backed up’. In these instances, the Environment Agency had to provide temporary pumps to reduce flooding upstream on Blue Beck.


The Solution

We are proposing the following improvements to the flood defences in Clifton and Rawcliffe:

  • Raising the height of the existing barrier bank and extending it at both the northern end through Rawcliffe Country Park and southern end through Homestead Park (to prevent flood waters flowing round the back of the raised bank).
  • Widening the ‘footprint’ of the bank in order to reduce the angle of the slope on both sides and so reduce the risk of bank slippage in the future. 
  • Installing a new pumping station within the barrier bank to maintain water levels in Blue Beck storage lagoon.

This combination of measures will offer greater protection against future floods and so reduce (but not eliminate) the risk of flooding for homes and businesses in the area.

This combination of measures will offer greater protection against future floods and so reduce (but not eliminate) the risk of flooding for homes and businesses in the area.


Benefits of the scheme

This scheme will deliver significant improvements to existing flood defences:

  • Raising and extending the barrier bank will reduce the risk of flooding for 134 homes in the area. 
  • It will also give us an opportunity to renovate and stabilise the existing embankment by making it wider and so reducing the angle of the slope.
  • This will extend the lifespan of the barrier bank and increase the speed at which we can drain the basin after a flood, so protecting the biological diversity of the site.
  • The new pumping station in Blue Beck will reduce the risk of flood water flowing onto Shipton Road, keeping an important transport route into the city open.

It will also give us an opportunity to include environmental improvements in the design of the site.



Impacts and Mitigation

Whilst the work we are proposing will bring long term benefits for the area, there will be some unavoidable impacts on the site, mainly whilst the scheme is being built.  During this time public access through Rawcliffe Meadows will be restricted; one footpath adjacent to the allotments will be closed and the cycle route diverted.  We appreciate that this may cause inconvenience to people using the site but unfortunately it is necessary in order to make the site safe for visitors.


Clifton Ings is a popular area with walkers and cyclists.


In addition work on the barrier bank will encroach permanently into an area of the Ings designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), known as Clifton and Rawcliffe Meadows. This will result in the loss of rare floodplain grassland habitat. We are working with City of York Council, Natural England and Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows (FoRM) to find ways to replace such losses and reduce damage to other habitats resulting from the scheme. As much as possible, we intend to minimise our impact on the site and restore it to its previous state as a floodplain meadow once the work is completed.

We have carried out detailed ecological surveys of the site and will draw up an Environmental Action Plan to ensure that plant and animal species are not adversely affected by our work.  Existing areas of rare meadow grassland species, impacted by our work, will be re-created on a ratio of four to one within Rawcliffe Ings.  We will avoid working in the area around the pond where the Tansy beetle is found.  We will replace any trees or hedgerows lost as a result of this work.  All vegetation clearance work (required before construction starts) will be done outside of the bird nesting season.

The Tansy Beetle - a species with a UK range of just a 45km stretch along the River Ouse, centred on York.


Engaging with the community

We have met with a variety of local groups with an interest in the site to discuss our proposals and ensure we find the least disruptive way of carrying out the work. On 3rd December we held a drop-in session at York Sports Club on Shipton Road to display our proposals. This event was well attended and we received lots of feedback from residents, interested parties and recreational users of Clifton Ings. We have since published a summary of our findings from the drop-in.


Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing.Pleasedownload the PDF.


Timescales and Next Steps

We submitted our proposals to City of York Council for planning approval at the end of December 2018. You can now view both the main application and a separate one for the access route online via the CYC planning portal (ref 19/00007/FULM and 19/00009/FUL). The consultation period for these applications has now closed but you can still access the documents and comments submitted .

Documents relating to these planning applications are also available at our Community Flood Hub on Wellington Row in the centre of York.  the full address is given below.

 If the planning application is approved, construction work will start during the summer (2019) and finish at the end of 2021.

If you would like any further information or details about our application, you can speak to an Environment Agency adviser through:

  • The York Community Hub: located on Wellington Row, York, open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am to 4pm. This site is open to the public, provides information on York FAS and opportunities for the public to discuss York flood defence plans and raise concerns with Environment Agency staff or
  • Email: yorkfloodplan@environment-agency.gov.uk


Up to date information can also be found at:

  • York FAS Facebook Page: @YorkFAS
  • Twitter: #envagencyyne


Coppins Farm to Scarborough Bridge

Latest Update:

You can download a copy of the latest newsletter here:


and an invite to the public drop-in on 12th July here:


The Coppins Farm to Scarborough Bridge Flood Cell shown in blue

This area already benefits from flood defences managed by the Environment Agency. These include embankments in the grounds of St Olave's and St Peter's schools and a flood wall in the gardens of Almery Terrace. These defences protect 156 properties, mainly located on Almery Terrace, Sycamore Terrace, Longfield Terrace and Sycamore Place.


The Problem

Unfortunately the defences within this flood cell no longer offer the standard of protection we are aiming to achieve for the city, and are at risk of over-topping in the future. We will need to increase the height of some of the defences, and construct new defences to achieve our desired standard of protection.

We would like to raise the height of the existing flood walls in the gardens of Almery Terrace. This could have a detrimental impact on these residents' views of the river.

There are also properties at risk of flooding along Burdyke Beck, for example around Clifton Green. Clifton Green flooded in 2000 and 2015, and has historically been subject to flooding from the beck.


The Solution

We are proposing the following improvements to the flood defences in Coppins Farm to Scarborough Bridge:

  • Raising the height of the existing flood wall at the back of Almery Terrace by 30 centimetres. After consulting with residents, we propose using glass panels to achieve this height increase. This reduces the visual impact of this wall.
  • Raising the existing embankment along St Peter's and St Olave's School playing fields by an average of 0.8 metres to take the existing height from 2.63 to 3.45 metres.
  • Extending the length of the existing embankment through St Peter's playing field by 82 metres. The average height of the embankment extension will be 1.89 metres.
  • Funding grants for Property Flood Resilience for homes at risk of flooding in Government House Road.


Timescales and Next Steps

We intend to use our Permitted Development powers  to carry out work in this flood cell, with the intention of starting construction in the summer of 2019. the formal notification for this can be found here:

Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing.Please download the PDF.

In preparation for work to start, we must

  • remove a 12 metre section of the hedge that runs along the side of the track leading from the end of Westminister Road down to St Peter's school’s boathouse;
  • remove the existing fence post near Burdyke pumping station and cut down a small section of hedge to widen the access point;
  • carry out small scale tree pruning to ensure clearance for vehicles.

We will  engage with residents to keep them informed about the design of the scheme once we  have a clear plan for the work to be done. This will include inviting Almery Terrace residents back to the York Flood Hub to demonstrate prototype wall raising options. We will also provide information to St Olave's and St Peter's schools and surrounding landowners regarding site access during construction.


Engaging with the community

In March 2018 we met with residents of Almery Terrace who have a flood wall in their garden to explain the need to raise it and discuss options for doing so.

In June 2018 we held an event at our York Flood Hub on Wellington Row. This gave members of the public, including residents of the properties protected by the Almery Terrace flood wall, an opportunity to view our proposals and provide feedback. We also attended two Clifton Ward community forums to publicise this event.

These events have given local residents an opportunity to study our proposals, ask questions, and comment on them. It is important that the solutions we are proposing are broadly supported by the community, and any potential constraints and limitations are clearly understood.

We have been in conversation with St Peter's and St Olave's schools whilst developing options for the scheme and will continue to do so throughout detailed design and construction.


This page is for information purposes only and is not part of a consultation.

We will update this page with information throughout the year. If you would like to provide feedback on the proposals, or have any questions, please contact us at yorkfloodplan@environment-agency.gov.uk.

We are also keen to understand whether on-line Information Pages are useful to you, and if this method for keeping you informed is successful.

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

If you would like to give us some feedback please click on the link or download and return the feedback form below.

Give us your feedback


  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • District and parish councils
  • Land owners
  • RFCCs
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • Local Risk Management Authorities
  • Internal Drainage Boards


  • Flood management