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£112m Leeds flood scheme submitted

Kirkstall Meadows

A £112.1 million Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme has been submitted by Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency to reduce the risk of flooding along the River Aire.

The range of measures put forward aim to reduce the risk of flooding along a 14-kilometre stretch of the River Aire catchment. This includes the A65 Kirkstall Corridor, which was badly hit by the impact of Storm Eva at Christmas 2015.

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, in order 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 measures include new defence walls, embankments and a large flood storage area. It focuses on four key areas of Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Kirkstall Abbey and Kirkstall Meadows, Apperley Bridge and Calverley.

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

Leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake, said: “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.”

If funding is secured, the second phase will aim to complete the River Aire scheme in full by the creation of a flood storage area near Calverley, which will use the moveable weir technology used in phase one of the scheme in the city centre to allow water to be stored and then be released slowly back into the river in a controlled way.

The details of the planning application can be viewed here and more details about the scheme can be found here

Image credit | Leeds City Council