A SERIES of flood alleviation measures recently given the go-ahead at Aireville Park, Skipton are part and parcel of a larger, multi-million pound regeneration scheme for the town, heard Craven councillors.

The work involving new culverts, the replacement of ‘trash screens’ , general tidying, and removal of overgrown vegetation around Gallow Syke would improve the flow of water, and would benefit Ings Lane and Engine Shed Lane, further downstream, heard Craven District Council’s planning committee.

Planning manager Neville Watson said while ‘relatively modest’ the scheme, to be carried out by the council itself, was just one component and the first part of a ‘very expensive, multi- million pound development package’ which was already fully funded, and with financial support in place.

The work will also mean the removal of some trees, which has been agreed by the council’s tree officer, and a ‘significant amount’ of maintenance and upgrading.

Cllr Chris Rose (Lab, Skipton West) said she was fully supportive of the scheme which would help relieve flooding issues in the town.

Gallow Syke and Ings Beck present a flood risk to areas of Skipton, specifically along the Ings Lane Industrial Estate.

Gallow Syke, a tributary of Ings Beck, originates to the north of Skipton and flows through a series of culverts which are in need of repair to allow them to be safely managed in flood conditions.

The new plans will redesign the culvert entrances so water can be stored temporarily during flood events, delaying its release and reducing the impact on the industrial areas around Engine Shed Lane and Ings Lane.

There will be two main areas of work – next to the Craven Leisure access road, and next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal. There will also some woodland management associated with the works, which are expected to begin later this autumn. Key organisations in the area are being consulted on the programme of works.

The proposals are essential for the delivery of the £5 million Skipton Employment and Housing Growth scheme, funded by the Government’s Local Growth Fund, awarded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (YNYER LEP).

This includes upgrading Engine Shed Lane and Ings Lane, connecting Ings Lane to the bypass, improving pedestrian routes from Skipton Railway Station to key destinations, and supporting the redevelopment of the area around the station.

Following completion of the overall scheme, heavy goods vehicles will be diverted away from the town centre with direct access to the Skipton bypass from Engine Shed Lane via the new Wyvern Park development.

Councillor Simon Myers, Craven District Council’s lead member for Enterprising Craven, said: “This work is important for the long-term prosperity of the town. It will greatly reduce the risk of flooding to the west of Skipton, protecting existing homes and businesses. It will also contribute to the wider scheme which will improve vehicle connectivity around Engine Shed Lane and Ings Lane.

“We will be speaking to key organisations in the area to ensure they are aware of the works that are to be carried out and to discuss any issues they may have while the scheme is being implemented.”

A council spokesperson said through the scheme the council will carry out a programme of woodland management and tree planting which as well as allowing the scheme to proceed will encourage greater understory vegetation to grow, increase the diversity in the age of trees and allow light into the watercourse.