Press release: Leeds flood defence plans on show

Proposals for the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme are going on show this month to communities upstream of the city centre.

A series of drop in events are being held in Kirkstall, Horsforth, Rodley and Apperley Bridge areas of Leeds, giving residents the opportunity to view options to reduce the risk of flooding to their homes and businesses.

An eight week consultation runs from today, Thursday 21 September until 16 November.

Members of the project team will be available at the following events to explain the options, answer any questions and seek views. Residents and business owners are invited to stop by within the following times to find out what is proposed:

  • Monday 2 October, 3pm to 7pm, Horsforth Community Hub, Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5BL
  • Thursday 12 October, 3pm to 7pm, Radio Aire, 51 Burley Road, Leeds, LS3 1LR
  • Thursday 19 October, 10am to 1pm, George & Dragon pub (car park), Apperley Rd, Bradford BD10 0PU
  • Thursday 19 October, 2.30pm to 5.30pm, The Church (car park), Wesley Street, Rodley, LS13 1JH
  • Saturday 28 October, 9am to 1pm, Kirkstall Leisure Centre, Kirkstall Ln, Leeds LS5 3BE
  • Sunday 29 October, 12pm to 3pm, Kirkstall Abbey Deli Market, Abbey Rd, Leeds LS5 3EH

With the £50 million first phase of the scheme, which has introduced state-of-the-art new flood protection for the city centre, Holbeck and downstream at Woodlesford set to be completed next month, Leeds City Council working with the Environment Agency, BMM jV Limited, Thomas Mackay and Arup, have released details of the further measures required for phase two.

The proposals for phase two represent the outcome of an extensive survey and feasibility study of the river catchment carried out by Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency following the devastating impact of Storm Eva at Christmas 2015, to determine the level of future protection needed to provide vital reassurance to residents and businesses.

They include measures further upstream including the Kirkstall corridor which was badly hit by the floods as well as Stourton, an industrial area that was badly affected on Boxing Day 2015.

Phase two will also look at areas beyond the city boundary to further reduce the possibility of the river flooding in Leeds, as well as additional measures to offer protection for the South Bank area of the city centre which is a key future economic driver for Leeds.
The range of measures proposed are a mixture of natural flood management and new infrastructure including:

  • Creating new woodland areas by planting hundreds of thousands of tree saplings.
  • Where possible, using sites in Leeds to retain flood waters when levels are high. Control gates would be used to fill and then release water from the stores back into river when safe to do so.
  • A new 700-metre long flood defence at Stourton with new walls and surface water interventions similar to those installed at Woodlesford as part of phase one.
  • Removing existing obstructions along the river to help reduce water levels, along with also lowering the riverbed in places to improve its capacity and flow.
  • Improving riverbank protection measures along the river catchment in Craven and Pendle along with enhanced woodland areas and installing debris dams.
  • Constructing raised defences along with landscaping, terracing, embankments and walls, but due to the range of natural measures the height of any engineered defences will not need to be as high as previously projected.

Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:

The response to these plans when they were released last week was very positive, especially the use of new trees and natural flood management measures along the catchment to help provide essential protection for communities in Leeds.

It is now vitally important we hear the views of residents and businesses so I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and attend these drop-in sessions.

Following an extensive study agreed with the government and other agencies these are the measures identified as being necessary to offer the level of protection needed which the government said it would provide, so we look forward to seeing these plans develop as soon as possible.

The impact of Storm Eva in Leeds at Christmas 2015 affected 3,355 properties in Leeds, of which 672 were commercial businesses. The direct cost to the city was an estimated £36.8 million, with the cost to the wider city region being more than £500 million.
Following the flooding in December 2015, the government committed £35 million between now and 2021 to a new scheme to further enhance flood protection in Leeds.

Link: Press release: Leeds flood defence plans on show
Source: Environment Agency