Initial sketches of how the next phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme to reduce flood risk in the city could look have been released today.
The indicative images offer early examples of how elements of the scheme could reduce flood risk upstream of the city centre, including the Kirkstall Valley which was badly hit by the effects of Storm Eva at Christmas 2015.
The images produced by Leeds City Council working with the Environment Agency and BMM jV Limited were presented as part of a pre-application presentation at a planning meeting today, outlining the proposals for phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Phase two proposes a further £112 millon investment in a range of measures along the River Aire, including to its upper catchment.
The plans include the planting of up to two million new trees, which would more than double existing canopy coverage along the River Aire, as part of a strong focus on using Natural Flood Management to boost flood prevention.
This is supported by flood defence walls and embankments as well as flood storage sites in areas such as Calverley, where the moveable weir technology of phase one will be repeated to allow water to collect and then be released slowly back into the river in a controlled way.
Enhancements to the scheme, which include new bridges and footpath improvements, will be handled in a separate planning application.
Following today’s meeting in Leeds Civic Hall, work will now continue on the plans with a formal planning application expected to be submitted later this summer. If approved by the government, work on phase two is scheduled to begin mid-2019.
Leeds City Council leader Councillor Judith Blake (Lab, Middleton) said:
“Working with the Environment Agency and partners, what we are putting forward is a modern catchment-wide approach to flood prevention utilising a range of measures including a strong focus on tree planting and natural measures to provide the reassurance our communities and businesses need and deserve.
” This scheme being supported and approved by the government as quickly as possible is essential so we can get on and do the work we need to get done.”