New woodlands planned to protect Leeds from flooding threat

Flooding in Kirkstall Road Leeds   27 December 2015.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Flooding in Kirkstall Road Leeds 27 December 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson
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HUNDREDS of thousands of new trees could be planted along the River Aire catchment as part of ambitious proposals to help protect Leeds against the future threat of flooding.

Work on the £50m first phase of the scheme is set to be completed next month.

It includes state-of-the-art new flood protection for the city centre, Holbeck and downstream at Woodlesford.

Now council chiefs have released details of phase two further upstream including the Kirkstall corridor and beyond the city boundary as well as additional measures to protect the South Bank.

They include creating new woodland areas by planting hundreds of thousands of tree saplings and constructing flood water stores with control gates.

A new 700-metre long flood defence at Stourton is proposed and the riverbed could be lowered in places improve its capacity and flow.

The report calls for approval to put a business case to the government to invest an initial £3.4m in advanced works including tree planting, vegetation and channel clearance between Rodley and Leeds Rail Station.

Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake, said: “After the devastation caused by the Christmas floods (of 2015) we agreed with the government and other agencies to carry out a comprehensive catchment-wide study which was clearly needed.

“With government funding and working closely with the Environment Agency, Leeds City Council has now concluded that study and these proposals would provide the level of protection needed.”

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