York Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) The Foss Confluence to Fulford Community Information Page

Closes 31 Dec 2021

Opened 9 Jul 2018

Overview

The purpose of this page is to provide information on how the Environment Agency aims to reduce the risk of flooding for homes and businesses in the Foss Confluence to Fulford area. We have been developing plans and actively engaging with the community on potential options since November 2017. We have now identified the most appropriate solution for this community.

The York 5 Year Plan identified 10 separate areas at risk of flooding. This includes the community of Fulford, between the Ouse and Foss confluence and the outer ring road.  Since the publication of this Plan in 2016, further investigation has shown that this area can be divided into two hydrological areas – Foss Confluence to Fulford and Germany Beck. This page focuses on these two areas, as defined below.

The Foss Confluence to Fulford Flood Cell

The flood cell covers the area directly below the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse near Blue Bridge Lane and continuing south to Fulford Ings. It is situated on the left bank of the River Ouse, downstream of the Foss Barrier. Properties within the flood cell include modern riverside apartments, Edwardian town houses and bungalows. The flood cell also includes St George’s car park. An important feature in the flood cell is New Walk, a tree lined riverside footpath created in the 1730s. The opening of the Millennium Bridge in 2001 has increased footfall into the area and it has become a key access point to the city centre as well as being on National Cycle route 66.

The Foss Confluence to Fulford Flood Cell shown in lilac

The Problem

Flood risk in the area includes flooding directly from the river Ouse, seepage through the boundary wall running along New Walk, as well as high groundwater levels when the river is high. There are 18 properties that have either experienced internal flooding, or are at risk of internal flooding, in this area. Ten properties are at risk of/have flooded in the past along New Walk, with eight properties at risk of/have flooded in the past around St Oswald's Street.  

The Foss Barrier

Modelling has been carried out in the past which showed that the upgraded pumps at the Foss Barrier could cause a rise in river levels downstream of up to 8 centimetres, thus increasing the risk of flooding downstream. However, this is an absolute worst case scenario, based on a number of highly unlikely assumptions. The first assumption made is that the barrier would need to pump at maximum capacity for 90 hours. This is highly unlikely as the Foss does not peak for long periods of time. On Boxing Day 2015 the peak flow lasted less than an hour. The second assumption made was that this would occur simultaneously with a flood on the Ouse on a scale never seen before in York.  A more reasonable worst case scenario, where the Foss peaks for less than an hour, coinciding with an extreme flood event on the Ouse (worse than ever recorded), would result in a 1 centimetre increase downstream. The risk of flood events of this scale occurring again on the Foss will also be reduced by the upstream storage we are proposing for the wider Foss catchment.

The Solution

We identified several options to reduce the risk of flooding in this flood cell. Having considered these from a technical, economic and environmental point of view, we have determined that the most appropriate solution is Property Flood Resilience (PFR). The number of properties affected by flooding in this area is low, whilst many of the options considered would be expensive to build. We therefore cannot justify this expense, according to Defra's criteria for funding. For more information about how we have arrived at this solution please see the New Walk Feasibility Note at the bottom of the page.

What is PFR?

Property Flood Resilience involves modifying existing properties to reduce the chance of water entering the building. It is also important to reduce the impact of flooding should water get inside. The aim is to ensure that damage is minimised and you can get back in to your home or business as quickly as possible after a flood. PFR involves surveying individual properties to identify the best solution for reducing the chance and impact of flooding.

If you want more information on Property Flood Resilience, you can read about it on the National Flood Forum’s website. This is a great one stop shop to learn about PFR from an independent source.

Am I eligible for funding to install PFR?

There are two ways that we determine PFR eligibility:

  1. Threshold surveys to identify properties at risk of flooding. This involves measuring the lowest point at which water may enter a property, and comparing this against our flood models;
  2. Asking residents whether they have experienced flooding in the past to contact us with evidence.

We completed threshold surveys of properties in the flood zone in the Foss Confluence to Fulford area in 2017. These identified properties we believe are at risk of flooding and as such are eligible for PFR. If your property is not shown on the map below as being at risk, but you have experienced flooding in the past and can provide evidence of this, then please contact us at yorkfloodplan@environment-agency.gov.uk  

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Timescales and Next Steps

Residents whose homes were surveyed should have received their individual PFR report and had a chance to comment on this.

We wrote to residents in October 2018 to request confirmation of their intended inclusion in our PFR scheme for the Foss confluence to Fulford flood cell. Confirmation was requested by 26th October 2018. We have received feedback from 62% of residents.

We are currently reviewing the scheme to ensure PFR is necessary for all properties.

With the PFR framework being new, our original timescales have unfortunately slipped. We encountered some unforeseen difficulties in our internal procurement process. The time frame is now as follows:

    • June – supplier appointed;
    • July – product selection commences (working with individual residents);
    • August onwards – products ordered and installation begins.

 

We will be consulting with residents to discuss personal requirements during July and August. We are aware that this is peak holiday time for many people, but unfortunately, this is when your input will be required.  We will look at providing various opportunities to have these necessary discussions.

Following feedback from residents we are working in partnership with City of York Council to explore further options for residents in the area regarding flood resilience. If you would like to speak to us regarding your specific recommendations please get in contact.

We are planning to attend a ward meeting in early 2019 to provide detail on next steps.

Germany Beck

We are working closely with City of York Council to develop an effective solution to the issues in Fulford. Ground investigations have commenced to inform the viability of works.

The Germany Beck Flood Cell shown in blue

Next Steps

We will be engaging with the local community on proposals in spring 2019.

This page provides information, documents and maps relating to the proposals for reducing flood risk in the Foss Confluence to Fulford flood cell.

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

This information is not part of a consultation, but we would welcome feedback, and questions. Please use the email above.

Audiences

  • 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

Interests

  • Flood management