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Opportunity to view plans to reduce flood risk in Calverley and Apperley Bridge

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Residents and business owners in the Apperley Bridge and Calverley area will have the opportunity to view flood defence proposals at two events next month.

The plans on display are the second phase of proposals for flood defences in Leeds, as part of a catchment-wide approach to reducing flood risk from the River Aire.

Two drop-in events are being held for the community on:

  • Monday 2 March, 3pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 10 March, 10am to 2pm

The events are being held at the George & Dragon Pub, Apperley Road, Apperley Bridge, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD10 0PU.

Leeds City Council is working alongside the Environment Agency and Bradford Council on the scheme which aims to invest £112.1million in flood prevention measures for areas upstream of Leeds city centre, to better protect 1,048 homes and 474 businesses. The Phase 2 proposals are split into two steps and feature measures such as new defence walls, embankments and a large flood storage area.

The proposals being shown involve creating a flood storage area at Calverley, making use of an existing flood plain, and works at Apperley Bridge, 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.

People will get the opportunity to meet representatives of the project team from Leeds City Council, the Environment Agency, BAM Nuttall, Mott MacDonald, BMMjv, a joint venture between BAM Nuttall and Mott MacDonald, is designing and constructing the scheme.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:

“With the work on phase two of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme starting recently, these drop-in sessions are ideal for the local community or anyone interested in the scheme to go along, find out more about it and discuss it with the team.

“After all the recent rainfall from Storm Ciara and Dennis, we are determined to get on with this work as quickly as we can in order to protect our residents and businesses from the ongoing threat of flooding. This is why we need the government to help us complete the next phase of the scheme in full as well as supporting us to provide the best level of resilience.”

Adrian Gill, area flood risk manager at the Environment Agency said:

“These drop in sessions are a great opportunity for people to get a better understanding of what is being planned to protect their local community.

“During these events, the joint Leeds City Council and Environment Agency project team will be available to talk to visitors about any views, questions or concerns they may have about the proposals. We will be seeking valuable feedback from both residents and businesses at these events and at further stages of the process.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport said:

“This project is a great example of partnership working with Leeds City Council as well as with the Environment Agency to support the project through the Bradford Flood Programme Board. Although this work is being carried out by a neighbouring authority, it will bring benefits to our district through the reduction of flood risk to residents and businesses.”

At Calverley it is proposed to increase the capacity of the floodplain by increasing water levels during a flood. To make this possible, a control structure will need to be built in the river channel.

During normal river conditions, the control structure will not affect water movement along the river. However, during a significant flood, it will be raised to temporarily store flood water and manage flows downstream. Even when in a raised position, water will overtop them and the velocity of water will remain high downstream.

At Apperley Bridge, plans are to raise some of the existing walls, construct 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 from flooding. 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.

The project also incorporates a flagship Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme. Natural flood management is when natural processes are used to reduce the risk of flooding. The team is working with partners and landowners across the catchment to deliver a range of measures, such as the creation of new woodland and other natural features. These techniques will hold back water to help reduce the flow of rainwater into the river and help reduce the impacts of climate change.

The project has received an initial £65million from the government as well as funding from Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the European Regional Development Fund and Network Rail. Leeds City Council is committed to examining all options to secure the funding to deliver the scheme in full.

The work follows completion of the first phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme in October 2017 where flood defences were installed along the River Aire in Leeds for the first time. The £50million project began with works completed downstream in Woodlesford which proved effective during the Christmas 2015 flooding, before moving into the city centre with measures featuring the introduction of state-of-the-art moveable weirs at Crown Point and Knostrop to control river levels.

The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme has received funding support from the Leeds City Region Growth Deal, a £1 billion-plus deal between the LEP and government to help transform the Leeds City Region economy.

The Growth Deal is being delivered jointly by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to boost jobs and growth across the whole of Leeds City Region.

For more details of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/fas 

Source Leeds City Council