RYEDALE District Council is set to approve a contribution of up to £320,000 towards the Malton, Norton and Old Malton Flood Alleviation Scheme (MNOMFAS).

At a meeting of the authority’s policy and resources committee last Thursday, councillors agreed to the contribution, which will now have to be ratified by full council.

MNOMFAS, first mooted back in 2012, has been developed by North Yorkshire County Council, the lead flooding authority, working with various other agencies, including the Environment Agency.

The whole scheme is costed at about £1.6 million - down from the previous estimate of £3 million.

For this, the scheme will include bespoke property-level protections, street planting to improve drainage and reduce the volume of water entering the combined sewer, capital improvements to Riggs Road drain in Old Malton, improvements to local flood warning procedures, the construction of chambers to house temporary pumps, and control of surface and groundwater “flowpaths” in Castlegate and Sheepfoot Hill.

Cllr Paul Andrews queried why there won’t be permanent pumps, merely chambers to hold the temporary ones, and was told by a county council officer that the upgraded pumps would have pushed the project cost up to an “undeliverable” £10m to £20m.

Much of the discussion among members centred around the fact that Yorkshire Water - although it has been part of the project’s working group - has not contributed to the scheme.

Cllr Di Keal welcomed MNOMFAS but questioned whether it would be sufficient to solve drainage capacity issues which have seen raw sewage rise into Norton gardens during flooding events.

“Although we have some improvements in Norton, we need a permanent solution,” she said.

“This report is letting Yorkshire Water off the hook. They repeatedly say ‘it’s not our problem’ - but it is their problem. Sustainable drainage schemes are not going to solve the sewage problems.”

Members were told that Yorkshire Water has been undertaking a drainage study in Malton and Norton for the past 18 months.

Commenting this week, Leah Humphries, flood risk engineer for Yorkshire Water, said: “We’ve been working in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, the Environment Agency and Ryedale Council to better understand and mitigate flood risk in Malton and Norton.

“As part of this work, we’ve been undertaking a full hydraulic review of how our sewers operate in the area so we can understand how waste water flows in the area and highlight any areas of concern for investment.

“This model is currently being verified and audited by our modelling engineers and consultants and we’ll be sharing the outputs of this with partners once complete.”

She added Yorkshire Water has been educating schoolchildren in Norton about sustainable drainage systems as part of its ‘Soak it Up’ project.