Multi-million pound flood defence schemes that will protect hundreds of homes in York are being further delayed – by the council’s planning process.
Construction work was supposed to start on the flood alleviation projects in Clementhorpe and Clifton and Rawcliffe this summer, according to a council report published in March.
But the planning applications have still not been decided – or even scheduled for discussion at a City of York Council planning meeting.
The Clementhorpe scheme – including controversial plans to shut Terry Avenue while construction is carried out and for Butcher Terrace to be used for works access – is set to protect nearly 150 homes.
A planning application was submitted in March by the Environment Agency.
The Clifton and Rawcliffe flood defences are designed to protect about 140 homes.
A report prepared for a council meeting next week says: “The two planning application submissions that were made earlier this year – Clifton and Rawcliffe and Clementhorpe – are both still awaiting confirmation of when they will be addressed at planning committee.
“Both these schemes have attracted a number of objections and concerns and requests for further information.
“Both schemes are facing a delayed start to construction if approved.”
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said it now expected the Clifton and Rawcliffe scheme to be decided at a meeting in September and the Clementhorpe application to go to a meeting in November.
Work on the Clementhorpe flood defences was originally due to start before the third anniversary of the Boxing Day floods of 2015.
The report says the Environment Agency will continue working with residents in the Clementhorpe area to minimise disruption. At Clifton and Rawcliffe, the report says the agency is waiting for a response from Natural England and council ecologists.
Building work is already underway at two other sites. The defences in North Street, Lendal Bridge and Memorial Gardens are set to be completed before the Remembrance Sunday service on November 10.
And the flood embankment in the grounds of St Peter’s School is currently being raised, with further phases of the work due to start next spring.
Planning applications are also going to be submitted for flood defence works in Museum Gardens and Marygate, at the Almery Terrace steps, the Foss flood storage area near Strensall and at Bishopthorpe.
Becky Eades, head of development services at the council, said: “We are working closely with the Environment Agency to get these complex applications to planning committee for consideration as soon as possible.”