Senior councillors asked to approve flood defence works
Senior councillors in Leeds will next week be asked to approve flood defence measures at Woodlesford as the first part of a major project to protect the city.
The council’s executive board will be given an update at its meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 4 September on the latest proposals to reduce the possibility of the River Aire flooding.
The executive board will be asked to approve the undertaking of works at Woodlesford in the form of a low-level landscaped embankment to achieve a protection against a one in 200-year flood in that area.
The measures at Woodlesford are the advance works ahead of the main project which includes the replacement of the existing fixed weirs at Crown Point and Knostrop with moveable weirs that can be lowered in flood conditions to reduce river levels and the threat of flooding. The moveable weirs are to be the first installed in the UK although they are tried and tested in other countries.
Additional elements have been brought forward as a result of rapid progress in recent months following successful funding bids to the government and the Environment Agency (EA). In addition to the £10m committed by Leeds City Council to the £44.8m project, the remaining funding package consists of £23m from the Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture (Defra), £3.4m from the Department for Business Industry and Skills (BIS), and £8.4m from the EA’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid which is expected to be formally confirmed in the coming weeks.
The additional elements include the removal of an island at Knostrop Cut which separates the river from the canal and flood defences in the city centre. The remaining planning application for these additional works is set to be determined at the end of September.
Public consultation has taken place with businesses and residents, as well as with local councillors for all of the proposed works. Information has also been available on the council website www.leeds.gov.uk/fas and at the Leeds Waterfront Festival where over 150 people visited a stall.
Work on site at Woodlesford is scheduled to start in January 2014, with the main project works programmed to commence in April 2014 and be completed by the end of 2016. The city centre including over 3,000 homes and 500 businesses will then have protection against a one in 75-year flood.
The project is being delivered by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency and other organisations.
Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“We are all very keen to see this vital project carried out to help protect Leeds city centre from the risk of flooding.
“These works in Woodlesford need to be carried out first to make improvements as quickly as possible. This will begin the process to provide the residents and businesses in that area with a level of protection and reassurance they have never had before.”
Note to editors:
A 1:75 flood risk refers to a one in 75-year Standard of Protection (SOP), which means that, on average, the city would only be expected to flood once in every 75 years, or twice in every 150 years.
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