Planners will next week decide whether to approve the second set of flood defences aimed one-in-200-year protection against flooding along the River Aire in West Leeds.
A new flood storage area could be built in Calverley bid to minimise the risk of flooding further downstream in Kirkstall, Burley and the city centre.
The new area area will make use of an existing flood plain, which will bring the level of protection up to a one-in-200 chance of flooding in any given year, equivalent to the Boxing Day floods that hit areas such as Kirkstall in December 2015.
Proposals to be considered by members of the City Plans Panel next Thursday also include further flood defences such as walls, sheet piling, earth bunds and scour protection. The application also includes associated access, landscaping, demolition, building and construction works. Most of the work will be carried out between Calverley and Apperley Bridge.
At Apperley Bridge, plans include raising some of the existing walls, constructing new flood walls and do extensive works to strengthen Apperley Lane Bridge, which is a listed structure. The bridge currently restricts the amount of water that can pass underneath it because of its arch structure. In flood conditions the river imposes a significant force on the bridge, so it is proposed to strengthen the arch and the parapet walls.
Works will also be done at Woodhouse Grove School Pavilion to protect the building and sports pitch from flooding.
Council planning officers are recommending councillors approve the plans in principle, subject to a raft of conditions. Their report concludes:
“…it is considered that the proposals represent a further important milestone in the delivery of a strategically important key part of the Core Strategy and City’s ongoing commitment to developing the wider 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 1:200myear event and protect employment in the West Leeds catchment.”
Work has already started in Leeds on the second phase of flood defences on an 8km stretch of the River Aire upstream of Leeds Train Station, in areas such as Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Kirkstall Abbey and Kirkstall Meadows.
Phase two of the scheme is split into two “steps”. Step one – which runs from Newlay Bridge to Leeds City Centre – was approved in June 2019. The latest part of the scheme is for the Apperley Bridge-to-Kirkstall section, known as Step two.
The council report can be read in full here.