Second phase of Leeds flood risk reduction scheme gets underway


Construction on the second phase of a major scheme to reduce flood risks in Leeds has officially started.

Phase 2 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme will see defences built on the River Aire upstream of Leeds Station as part of a catchment-wide approach to reducing flood risk.

Leeds City Council is working alongside the Environment Agency on the scheme which aims to invest £112.1 million in flood prevention measures for areas upstream of Leeds city centre.

The Phase 2 proposals are split into two steps and feature measures such as new defence walls, embankments and a large flood storage area.

At £87 million, the first step of Phase 2 will give protection against a one-in-100 chance of flooding in any given year along an 8km stretch upstream of Leeds station including three key areas – Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Kirkstall Abbey and Kirkstall Meadows. These works are expected to be complete by winter 2022.

The second stage involves creating flood storage 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.

This week, works have started in the Wellington Bridge Street area upstream of the city centre, on a flood defence wall running along the River Aire.

The work follows completion of the first phase of the back in October 2017 where flood defences were installed along the River Aire in Leeds for the first time.