Phase 2 plans submitted for £112.1m Leeds flood defence scheme

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Flood Alleviation,
© Shahid Khan

Plans for the next phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme to reduce flood risk along the River Aire have now been submitted

Leeds City Council has worked alongside the Environment Agency to put forward a planning application for phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, which will invest £112.1m in flood prevention measures for areas upstream of Leeds city centre.

A range of measures have been suggested to reduce the risk of flooding along a 14-kilometre stretch along the River Aire catchment, including the A65 Kirkstall Corridor which was badly hit by the impact of Storm Eva at Christmas 2015 and ending at Apperley Bridge, Bradford.

These plans include both parts of the two-step process that has been developed to give a one-in-200-year level of enhanced protection against flooding for Leeds, helping to better protect 1,485 homes and 370 businesses.

If approved, work to deliver the first step, a one-in-100 year level of protection, is expected to start next summer. The plans feature measures such as new defence walls, embankments and a large flood storage area.

The scheme also incorporates a flagship Natural Flood Management programme. Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency will work with partners and landowners across the catchment to deliver a range of measures, such as the creation of new woodland and other natural features. These will help reduce the flow of rainwater into the river and help reduce the impacts of climate change.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: “This planning application is an important step in our commitment to providing Leeds with the level of flood defences it needs.

“If it is approved it would mean we can get on with starting the work we can carry out now, which is vital to provide our residents and businesses with reassurance and confidence as we come up on three years since the devastation caused by the impact of Storm Eva.

“We will continue to pursue all options to secure the remaining funding to deliver the scheme to one-in-200-year level in full.”

Flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, Adrian Gill added: “The joint project team have worked hard to get to this point. We are keen, through this consultation process, to understand what the public think about the proposed scheme.

“If approved, it will enable our team to begin works at pace, extending the level of protection in the city centre out to the Kirkstall area, whilst we continue to work towards our ambition of a 1-in-200-year level of protection from the River Aire for the whole city.”

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