Next stage of flood defence “to avoid £400m of potential damage” to go before Leeds decision-makers

Kirkstall Road, Leeds, during the Boxing Day floods of 2015.
Kirkstall Road, Leeds, during the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The next stage of work to prevent future floods in Leeds is set to go before a panel of Leeds City Council decision-makers this week.

The £100m project, which is expected to be part-funded by the government, aims to protect communities neighbouring the River Aire, many of which were devastated by the Boxing day floods of 2015.

A report into the plans claim that, if nothing is done, up to £400m worth of direct damage could be done to Leeds in the event of a major floods in the city.

The authority’s city plans panel has been recommended to give approval for construction of phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS).

This stage of the plans includes building flood storage areas, flow control structures (including plant and machinery) and defences – including walls, sheet piling and earth bunds.

Plans also include the construction of a 200-millimetre thick

reinforced concrete flood defence walls clad in stone into Wellington Bridge and Newlay Bridge.

A control structure tying into Clough House in Kirkstall would also be installed, using suitable lime hydraulic mortar and

remedial works to Clough House

The application also includes flood walls connecting to the Engine Shed in Armley Mills.

Work on the flood defences represents the current plans for the so-called one-in-a-hundred year flood defence plans, despite council chiefs wanting a more expensive one-in-200-year level of protection. The Government has made around £65m available for the scheme – but the authority recently revealed there was currently a funding gap of £23.3m needed for the 1:200 work.

A report into the proposals concludes: “It is considered that the proposals represent a further milestone in the delivery of a strategically important key part of the Core Strategy and City’s ongoing commitment to developing the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

“This would reduce flood risk to a large number of businesses and homes by raising the standard of protection from the effects of flooding of a 1:100 (+ climate change) year event and protect employment in the West Leeds catchment.”

The plans will go before Leeds City Council’s city plans panel on Thursday, June 6.