FUNDING for Pickering’s flood defences could be a step closer to reality tomorrow.
Ryedale District Council’s Policy and Resources Committee is expected to support a proposal to put £950,000 aside to fund the Slowing the Flow Project scheme.
Pickering escaped the worst of last week’s floods – even though the beck flooded – but locals and officials were still fearful that it could have led to a repeat of the floods in 2009.
If supported by members, it will then need to get final approval by the Full Council.
The overall costs of the scheme continue to vary but are believed to be between £1.9 million and £2.56 million and will include £300,000 from North Yorkshire County Council and £250,000 from the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee – leaving a funding gap of anything between £400,000 and £1 million.
It would involve building a large earthern bund near Hunter’s Bridge to hold back more than 120,000 cubic metres of flood water.
Members of the Slowing the Flow Project view it as the final piece in a puzzle to protect Pickering from flood water and would stop everything but a one-in-25 year flood.
The wider project includes the planting of more trees, restoring woody debris dams in small streams and restoring wetlands to slow the speed and amount of water flowing into the river at Pickering and Sinnington.
In his report to the committee, Paul Cresswell, the council’s Corporate Director, said: “Uncertainty remains regarding both the extent of the funding gap and the potential to reduce the costs.
“However lack of certainty over funding by the council could in itself stifle funding opportunities from coming forward.”