£85k fund for flood defences

The cash will support 17 properties - but more than 100 and many roads have been affected by summer floods.
The cash will support 17 properties - but more than 100 and many roads have been affected by summer floods.

Parts of Pontefract and Castleford will benefit from an £85,000 scheme designed to prevent flooding.

A total of 17 properties at high risk of surface water flooding will have defence measures installed. They were among more than 100 in the towns that were badly affected by flooding during heavy rainfall in August 2014 and August 2015. Many were also contaminated by foul sewage.

Coun Matthew Morley, cabinet member for transport and highways at Wakefield Council, said: “Flooding can have serious implications for people and their homes and we want to help those at risk where we can.”

A report to a meeting of the council last month said it was not the authority’s responsibility to solve flooding to properties, but investigations carried out by its Flood Risk Management Team identified several high priority properties, at risk of flooding in the future.

The council was successful in bids for £85k of funding from the Environment Agency to put the resilience scheme in place.

Defence measures, including flood doors and flood resistant air brick covers will be installed in summer at Denwell Terrace and Atkinson Lane in Pontefract and Carr Lane, in Castleford.

Flash floods in 2014 and 2015 caused thousands of pounds of damage in the Five Towns, and left some areas under up to five feet of water.

Express readers raised concerns that more needed to be done and Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper said more cash was needed from the government.

Ms Cooper said: “This is a step forward for the homes that will be covered, but of course we know that other areas and homes are still at risk. Nationwide I don’t think the government is putting enough investment into flood defences - yet that makes no sense as flood damage costs us all more.”

Reader Richard Sambrook said action needed to be taken “to stop Barnsdale Road from flooding and cutting Allerton Bywater and Kippax off from Castleford”. Amanda Kemp said: “Fixing some drains would help.” And Paul Pocklington added: “I see more blocked gullies then clear ones, lack of maintenance over several years.”