The Filey Flood Alleviation Scheme will involve the construction of a series of embankments, ditches and temporary flood storage areas around the edge of the town.
These are designed to catch the overland flows of water during extreme rainfall from the surrounding land before they reach the town.
The flood water will be temporarily stored before being released at a controlled rate into the existing drainage system and ravines.
As well as homes and businesses, the £4.37m scheme will also help to protect Filey’s only secondary school, the Scarborough to Hull railway line and the town’s two access roads. In total 739 properties will see their risk of flooding reduced.
Filey has a history of suffering from surface water flooding.
Records of properties flooding date back to 1985. The most significant flooding occurred in October 2000, August 2002, and the major flood event in the summer of 2007.
On July 18 2007, when the sun was shining 20 minutes away in Scarborough, 80mm of rain fell in just 90 minutes in Filey, with water reported to be waist-deep in places.
Significant damage and disruption occurred, including more than 200 homes affected by internal flooding, both access roads into the town blocked and the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was used to rescue people stranded in their homes.
Surface water flooding in Filey is exacerbated by the slopes surrounding the town that result in a basin like topography, affecting the areas where the majority of properties are located.
The Filey Flood Alleviation Scheme has been designed to mitigate this problem and cope with the type of extreme rainfall witnessed in 2007 as well as the predicted future impacts of climate change.
The scheme is being funded by Environment Agency (£2.269m), Regional Flood and Coast Defence Committee Local Levy (£1.712m), Scarborough Borough Council (£369k) and Filey Town Council (£20k).
The construction work, which will be carried out by Esh Construction Limited, will start in July and will be completed by spring 2021.
Cllr Michelle Donohue Moncrieff, Scarborough Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “During the last decade, the people of Filey have worked extremely hard with Filey Town Council, ourselves and North Yorkshire County Council to be resilient as a community in planning for and responding to floods.
“Additionally, Yorkshire Water has implemented £3.5 million of improvements to the town’s urban drainage network since the devastating events of 2007.
“Our flood alleviation scheme represents the final third of the jigsaw to help protect the Filey community from future flooding. The project has come to fruition as a result of the hard work of a number of committed people, who should all be very proud of what has been achieved.
“Preparation for the construction works has involved many months of negotiations with private landowners and we have now reached a point where our contractor can be formally appointed and construction works will soon get underway.
“Once complete, the scheme will give the people of Filey the reassurance they need that the town will be able to cope with the impacts of flooding, and protect homes and livelihoods for the next 100 years.”