People who live and work in west Leeds are being invited to come along to a couple of drop-in events this month to find out more about proposals for the next phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.
They will have the opportunity to have a look at plans and talk to members of the project team responsible for developing the second phase of the flood defences being proposed to protect communities upstream of the city centre.
The events will be held between 2pm and 8pm on Wednesday 13 February and Tuesday 26 February at Milford Sports Club, Beecroft St, Leeds LS5 3AS. Visitors will have the chance to ask questions and get more information about the proposed defences and accessibility works such as new pedestrian bridges.
The Environment Agency has worked alongside Leeds City Council to submit a planning application which will invest £112.1 million in flood prevention measures along the River Aire catchment.
A range of measures have been put forward to reduce the risk of flooding along a 14-kilometre stretch, including the A65 Kirkstall Corridor which was badly hit by the impact of Storm Eva at Christmas 2015 and ending at Apperley Bridge, Bradford. In addition to this a natural flood management programme is proposed across the catchment, with pilot projects already underway.
The plans feature measures such as new defence walls, embankments and a large flood storage area. They include four key areas of Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Kirkstall Abbey and Kirkstall Meadows, Apperley Bridge and Calverley.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning said:
Offering protection and reassurance to people in Kirkstall and surrounding areas that were so badly affected by the Christmas floods of 2015 is a key element of the next phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme. These plans for a range of measures have been drawn up not just to reduce the risk of flooding, but very much with the environment in mind.
It is very important that local residents and businesses are aware of what we are planning to do and how it will work, so I’d encourage as many as possible to come to these drop-in sessions to ask questions and discuss it with us.
Adrian Gill, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency said:
These drop in sessions are a great opportunity for people to get a good understanding of what is being planned to protect their local community.
During this event, the joint Leeds City Council and Environment Agency team managing the construction of the next phase of the Leeds flood defence will be available to talk to visitors about any concerns they may have and provide clarification about anything that they are uncertain about.
Although Leeds City Council has submitted the proposals for approval by planning officers, the detailed design of the scheme has not yet been decided and we will be seeking valuable feedback from both residents and businesses at these events and at further stages of the process.
These events follow on from a series of drop-in sessions held in Kirkstall, Horsforth, Rodley and Apperley Bridge areas of Leeds in October 2017.
The plans which will be on display 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 this summer.
The scheme also incorporates a flagship catchment-wide 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 and mitigate the flow of rainwater into the river and help reduce the impacts of climate change.
Members of the planning committee are expected to meet to discuss the application at the end of March.