The York Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) York City Centre Community Information Page

Closes 31 Dec 2021

Opened 12 Nov 2018


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 along the River Ouse in the York City Centre Community.

The York 5 Year Plan identified 10 separate areas at risk of flooding.  This includes the communities living alongside the River Ouse and River Foss in the centre of York. Since the publication of this plan in 2016, further investigation has shown that this area can be divided into different hydrological areas or 'flood cells'. 

This page focuses on the following four flood cells located along the River Ouse:

Scarborough Bridge to Ouse Bridge (right bank)

This flood cell covers the area between Scarborough Bridge and Ouse Bridge, on the right bank of the River Ouse. This area consists of a mixture of residential properties and businesses, including Royal Mail's York depot and the Aviva building. Flood defences were constructed within this flood cell in the early 1990s, and include a flood wall running along North Street, and a flood gate underneath Lendal Bridge.

The Scarborough Bridge to Ouse Bridge flood cell shown in orange.

The Problem

There are around 40 properties at risk of flooding in this flood cell. The flood wall along North Street has previously come close to overtopping and will need raising to cope with increased flood heights and the effects of climate change. In both 2000 and 2015, sandbags were placed on the top of the wall as the water rose to within 20 centimetres of the top. The floodgate under Lendal Bridge will need increasing in height.

There is also a risk that flood water might find a way round our existing defences, finding a path through the War Memorial Gardens and the York City Rowing Club boathouse to flood properties on Rougier Street and Wellington Row.

The Solution

We are proposing the following improvements to the flood defences in the Scarborough Bridge to Ouse Bridge flood cell:

  • Raising the existing floodwall along North Street and installing new flood gates. The floodgate closest to the York Flood Hub will be increased in width to improve pedestrian access and use of the walkway;
  • Waterproofing 'The Hub' building on Wellington Row;
  • Increasing the height of the Lendal Bridge floodgate;
  • A flood embankment in the grounds of York City Rowing Club;
  • Demountable flood barriers across the main and second entrance to the Memorial Gardens;
  • A new 50 centimetres high floodwall along Leeman Road from Westgate Apartments to a new embankment in the grounds of York City Rowing Club.

We are proposing to use our Permitted Development rights for the majority of work within this flood cell, and have been granted planning permission for the work proposed for the War Memorial Gardens. For an overview of our approach to planning for the York FAS, and an explanation of permitted development rights, please see our main York FAS information page. For a technical overview of where we are planning to use Permitted Development rights and where planning permission is required, please see the Indicative plan showing all works required for Scarborough Bridge to Ouse Bridge flood cell and consents approach document at the bottom of the page.

Timescales and Next Steps

We have been granted planning permission for Memorial Gardens, Leeman Road York (ref.19/00021/FUL) on the 5th March. The documents associated with this application can now be viewed on the City of York Council website

We intend to use our Permitted Development rights for the remainder of work in this flood cell. This is explained in the notice below.

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We plan to start construction in May 2019.

Engaging with the community

In January 2018 we held an event at our York Flood Hub to showcase our proposals and give the public an opportunity to provide feedback. We displayed these proposals in the York Flood Hub until March 2018. We have also been in conversation with Historic England, City of York Council, York Civic Trust, Park Inn Hotel and York City Rowing Club whilst proposals were being developed. 


Queen's Staith and Skeldergate

There is potential to reduce flooding by installing a combination of flood gates and demountable barriers between existing buildings on Skeldergate. This is dependent upon structural integrity and ground conditions which are currently under assessment.  Until we know the outcoem of this, we cannot provide more detailed information.

Ground investigations have been carried out to inform the viability of the proposals. We are currently investigating underground seepage issues and the feasibility of locations for new defences between existing buildings.

Work in this area largely depends on Yorkshire Water's works to the drain. Timescales for the production of proposals for the area are dependent on this. We are currently working towards an outcome.

The Queen's Staith and Skeldergate Flood Cell shown in yellow

Next Steps

Timescales for the production of proposals for the area are dependent on the outcome of this investigation.

King's Staith

As was highlighted in the publication of the 5 Year Plan, providing protection at King's Staith to the same level as elsewhere in the city is not feasible. We are assessing the optimum size of any defence in this location to provide additional protection without negatively impacting the riverside amenity and neighbouring businesses. Due to government spending rules around cost benefit, this scheme may require additional funding support.

Ground investigations have been carried out to inform the viability of works.
Investigation into potential underground flow routes linking to historic water defences is ongoing.

Next Steps

We are currently assessing the feasibility of different options to reduce flooding in this area but have yet to make a decision.

The King's Staith Flood Cell shown in brown


Scarborough Bridge to Lendal Bridge

A significant area of this flood cell falls within the historic city centre and therefore any scheme needs to have the support of heritage bodies. We are keen to ensure this support before shortlisting options.

Next Steps

We have received and considered the response from Historic England on our proposals for work in Museum Gardens and plan to start engagement with the wider community in summer 2019.

The Scarborough Bridge to Lendal Bridge flood cell shown in green


This page provides information, documents and maps relating to the proposals for reducing flood risk in the York City Centre Community

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

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


  • 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