Leeds City Council staff will be in Apperley Bridge from Monday to begin works to reduce flooding along the River Aire, writes Chris Young.
The council is spending more than £112 million on flood alleviation works along the river in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Boxing Day floods of 2015 which left parts of Kirkstall Road, Kirkstall, Rodley Nature Reserve and the city centre under several feet of water.
Although much of the work will take place within the Leeds area, there will also be improvements made across the border with Bradford, with works in Apperley Bridge. These works are expected to be primarily on the river banks and bridge on Apperley Lane and around Harrogate Road.
It will include work on the land between the Stansfield Arms pub and the river Aire, and a field the opposite side of the river.
Workers are expected to visit the site numerous times over a seven-week period, and the council has assured residents there will be minimal disruption in the early stages.
Last month Bradford Council gave the go-ahead for these works to begin, and told Leeds that it should hold a “meaningful consultation” before any major works begin.
They said they would need to speak to highways teams about any disruptions, and to heritage groups about the impact of any works on listed buildings.
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said:
“As part of the second stage of the £112m Leeds Alleviation Scheme, Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency has set out plans for redevelopment work at Apperley Bridge.
“Given that this part of the project does cross the boundary into Bradford, we are working closely with Bradford Council around various details of these proposals.
“We have subsequently notified Bradford Council that from next week we will be carrying out ground investigation works, monitoring and surveys on land at Apperley Bridge to support the early planning stages of this project. The initial ground works will last approximately two days and are not proposed to cause any disruption to the public.
“This will be followed up by non-intrusive, on-going visits at a number of locations over a seven-week period to complete gas and monitoring work.”
The wider Leeds scheme will include creating an extended flood plain in Calverley to hold back water flow during floods – with the ability to hold 3.5 million cubic metres of water. Further defence measures are proposed in Kirkstall and Burley.