Plea to Ministers over floods scheme

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MINISTERS have been urged to look again at funding for a Leeds flood defence scheme which has been shelved because of budget cuts at the Environment Agency.

The £180m project in Leeds, which would be built along the River Aire and protect thousands of homes and businesses, is one of three Yorkshire schemes put on hold.

But Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has taken up the case with Ministers warning the scheme is too important and “simply can’t be put [away] to gather dust”.

Responding to his plea yesterday, Environment Minister Richard Benyon said: “I do think that there is much work that can be done to make sure that parts of it are brought forward in a viable form in the future.”

But he said the scheme would currently cost £250,000 per property and this was a “difficult sum to get around”.

Shadow Environment Minister Jamie Reed said spending cuts on flood defences meant rural areas were most at risk.