By Mindy Goose
Work began on Monday at Kirkstall Abbey Park as part of Phase 2 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Contractors from BAM Nuttall will be building an upstream flow control structure at the entrance to the Goit.
Letters were delivered to some of the homes close to Kirkstall Abbey Park at the start of the week, which we will outline below.
What are they doing?
They are constructing a flow control structure adjacent to the existing sluice gates. Another one will be constructed further up at the outlet of the goit, near St Ann’s Mill, to ensure water cannot travel back up the channel.
Unfortunately funding is not available to improve the flow of the goit, replace the deteriorated sluice gates at the inlet of the goit, or control the general build-up of silt and debris, at this time.
However the works they are currently undertaking have been designed to allow for these improvements to be made in the future should funding become available.
It’s all part of the multi-million pound flood defence works aimed at reducing the risk of flooding from the River Aire following the 2015 Boxing May floods.
What will this structure do?
In a flood event both structures will be closed to prevent water from the River Aire entering the goit and causing further flood damage.
They will be creating a site compound similar to the one that was created for the Fish Pass, however it will be slightly larger in size. The location can be seen on the map below.
The site compound is crucial to access the inlet easily and to provide welfare facilities for the staff working in the area.
Nature and wildlife
Over the next few weeks contractors are going to be carrying out wildlife surveys at the Abbey and the area by Clough House.
De-vegetation and tree pruning works will also take place in both locations. They have acknowledged that the trees on the Abbey grounds are protected assets, so to minimise the impact of the compound, they will be installing root protection matting and tree trunk protection before any machinery or equipment is delivered to the site.
How they are going to communicate it to the public?
They will be placing information boards outside the site compound to allow neighbours and visitors to the area the opportunity to learn more about the scheme and the works in this area.
What it means for the public in the short term?
There will be noise disruption when they start the piling. Piling is the process of drilling foundations through the ground to provide more structural strength to the weak soil underneath. Piling prepares the ground to carry heavy loads. Exact dates are yet to be revealed.
There will be general construction noise as they complete the works. The area around the sluice will also be off limits to the public whilst the works are being carried out.
Any questions about the works and the Leeds FAS2 scheme as a whole, can be directed to Julie Holmes by phone 0782 5724097 or e-mail Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org.