Tadcaster flood scheme enters virtual consultation room

Environment Agency planners are calling for Tadcaster residents and business owners to have their say on plans for a new £10million flood alleviation scheme.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 3:50 pm

An interactive virtual consultation room has been created where people can learn more about the work and view a shortlist of feasible options.

Once they have viewed the plans online, visitors to the website can then give their feedback, which will help shape the final design of the flood scheme.

Robin Derry, of the Environment Agency, said: “The final design needs to be right for the town’s flood dynamics as well as being suitable for the local environment.

“Our interactive online consultation room provides details on the outline designs of those options considered feasible to help reduce flood risk in the town.

“Where possible, we want to include features in the scheme design that will enhance the natural environment or provide other benefits, such as better access or improved facilities.”

The options outline different types of flood defences in the town, as well as the possibility of a flood storage area upstream.

Residents and business owners are being asked their thoughts on - Which of the options they prefer and why; the potential alignments of new flood defences or new locations for flood storage; any parts of Tadcaster they feel would not be defended through the proposals, which should have flood alleviation measures, as well as any areas they feel should not.

Mr Derry said: “At this stage we are not specifically consulting on things such as details of exactly how potential new defences may look.

“This will be put to residents, business owners and local organisations in a separate event at a later date, once the preferred option has been identified, to enable your views to feed into the detailed design of the selected option.”

The Environment Agency has been working with flood engineer specialists to develop the plans since the government committed to invest £9 million in the scheme last autumn.

This was in addition to the £1 million Local Growth Fund investment in the scheme through the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which enabled the scheme to go-ahead.

Hydrological and hydraulic modelling of the flood risk has already been undertaken, as well as environmental and ecological appraisals of the river, the surrounding area and its habitats.

Mr Derry said: “As part of the scheme, the Environment Agency planned to hold a series of community engagement events. However, due to ongoing restrictions relating to the Covid pandemic we have developed a virtual interactive consultation page was developed.

“Due to not everyone having access to, or confidence in, on-line digital communication methods every effort is being made to use other, more traditional methods where possible, whilst working in line with Government Covid-19 restrictions.

“Therefore, all the information will also be available in the next edition of Tadcaster Today community newsletter, which will be delivered in the town in the following weeks.”

The public consultation runs until Wednesday October 14. To view plans and comment, go to https://www.virtualengage.arup.com/tadcaster.