FLOOD-hit residents are hoping they have seen the river flood their homes for the last time.

Plans to build a £500,000 flood barrier behind homes at Castley Lane, Pool-in-Wharfedale, are expected to be given the go-ahead in the next couple of weeks.

The Environment Agen-cy scheme, which has been out to public consultation, passed the last day for comments on Tuesday and is due to be approved by Harrogate Borough Coun-cil's director of planning by the end of March.

The scheme will then be submitted to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for its approval and if everything goes to plan, will be started in May.

Gavin Barlow, who lives in Castley Lane, said it was very good news.

Mr Barlow and his wife, Fiona, have been forced to live upstairs since last month's floods and expect it will be June before their lives return to normal.

"Everything is slowly but surely getting back to normal, but we're still upstairs and we've only got a table and four chairs downstairs."

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "We hope to issue the full details of the plan to DEFRA once we get planning permission at the end of the month and if all goes to plan, we still hope to start work in May. We are probably looking at it taking between six and eight weeks."

The barrier will stretch for about a mile from the A658 Harrogate Road, behind houses in Castley Lane and then curve north to protect them from houses. It will initially be an earth mound, between 2.5ft and 3ft high, but will eventually be grassed over. A drainage system will prevent water from hitting the barrier and will disperse flood waters away from houses and out of harms way.