Reservoir plans to combat flooding

Flooding in Pocklington on Boxing Day. Picture courtesy of Phil Gilbank.
Flooding in Pocklington on Boxing Day. Picture courtesy of Phil Gilbank.

A developer has told the Pocklington Post that it is in discussions with East Riding Council about building a flood storage reservoir in Pocklington, as part of its proposals to build about 200 new houses.

The news comes after a special meeting was held by the town council at the old courthouse, on Pocklington’s George Street, to discuss the flooding in Pocklington on Boxing Day and what can be done to alleviate the town’s flooding issues. During the meeting, residents expressed the need for a reservoir to be built to the north of Pocklington to help combat the flooding problems.

Developer Persimmon Homes Yorkshire says its plans to build about 200 new homes on land off Mile End Park is at “a pre-application stage.” The land has been allocated for housing development in the East Riding Local Plan (policy POC-C). As part of the development, proposals are required to provide flood storage, both on-site and/or off-site, to reduce the risk of flooding from Pocklington Beck.

Simon Usher, managing director at Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said: “We are pleased to be in discussions with the local authority on the viability of delivering a purpose-built flood catchment area to the north of the town. Such an investment would inevitably impact on our ability to deliver affordable housing at the site, but we are hopeful that a pragmatic view will prevail so we can arrive at the best solution for the local community.

“We look forward to submitting our plans for the council to consider and hopefully we can create a scheme that can be of great benefit to the town.”

Residents turned out in force at the meeting to discuss flooding in Pocklington, which began with Pocklington mayor, councillor Martin Ratcliffe, giving a talk about how the Boxing Day floods in Pocklington unfolded. It was mentioned that Pocklington Beck burst its banks just minutes after the Environment Agency issued a flood warning at 11.31am on 26 December. Residents agreed with town clerk Richard Wood that warnings need to be sent out earlier, which would mean altering the telemetry system on Bridge Street, which monitors the level of the beck, so the alarm is triggered earlier.

Residents shared their views about what should be done to try to reduce the risk of flooding in the town. The most popular suggestion was the creation of a flood storage reservoir to the north of Pocklington.

One resident said: “The water that comes into Pocklington comes from the Millington area. [On Boxing Day] The water met London Bridge and blocked up. If you pour water into a funnel too fast it overflows. You’ve got to stop some of the water flowing from Millington. There is a proposal we all know about to do that. There is a farmer prepared to create a flood plain to slow the water down. It will not come through the town as quickly.”

Another resident added: “We need to stop building houses and build a reservoir upstream.”

Coun Ratcliffe said an upstream reservoir “is something we need to investigate a lot further.” The mayor also commented that the town council has suggested to the Enviroment Agency that it should place cameras in the culverts under the town to see if there are any blockages and find out if silt is building up anywhere.

Pocklington resident Les Waby suggested that the Beck could be diverted around the town behind Woldgate School to prevent the town being flooded.

A disgruntled resident who lives on Pocklington’s Denison Road said he suffered about £2,000 worth of damage at his property because of the Boxing Day floods. Pocklington resident John Brown said residents views and ideas about flood alleviation can be incorporated into the town’s Neighbourhood Development Plan, which could be completed in the next six months. The town council will be passing on the views and ideas put forward at the meeting to the Environment Agency and East Riding Council’s flood unit. If you would like to register to receive flood warnings, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit www.gov.uk/floodsdestroy.