Flood protection to be outlined

Residents and businesses are being invited to an event next week to find out more about plans to help reduce flood risk in Otley.

Friday, 22nd February 2019, 8:35 am
Updated Friday, 22nd February 2019, 8:37 am
The River Wharfe at Otley. Picture By Simon Hulme

The drop in at Otley Town Council offices on thursday February 28, 1-7pm, will give people the chance to find out more about the proposals to reduce the risk of flooding in the historic market town and allow them to give feedback.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: “This is a project to provide protection and reassurance against the risk of flooding to all of the community in and around Otley, so we are very keen to continue having our residents and business involved in shaping the plans as they develop.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along, find out more and discuss it with the team.”

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Visitors will have an opportunity to meet representatives from Leeds City Council, Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and WSP (consultants undertaking survey and investigation work).

The town suffered flooding on three occasions between November and December 2015, which saw 74 properties affected.

In the Autumn Statement 2016, the Government announced £2 million to invest in a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses.

The scheme is being led by Leeds City Council, working closely with the Environment Agency.

So far the project team has carried out environmental assessments, gathered information for a hydraulic report and an economic appraisal for the scheme and completed assessments of structures, geotechnical, drainage, highways, and utilities.

Outline designs are now being developed.

The next steps include submitting an outline business case for the scheme, seeking planning permission and finally developing a detailed design before construction can begin.

John Woods, flood risk officer with the Environment Agency said: “We are committed to keeping the local community updated on progress around the development of a flood alleviation scheme for Otley.

“This drop-in event will give residents another opportunity to meet and ask questions of our team and also allow us to gather valuable feedback to help us develop a scheme that meets their needs.”

Paul Swift, project manager with scheme consultants WSP said: “We are very proud to be working in this multi-agency partnership to help protect Otley from future flooding.

“This scheme is a great model of how we need to engage with communities and other stakeholders to protect those at risk in the future. It also fits with WSP’s “Future Ready” initiative that is aimed at ensuring as a society we are ready for the environmental challenges and changes ahead.”

The Otley Flood Alleviation Scheme is one of several schemes that is adopting a catchment-wide approach. This means the entire River Wharfe catchment area will be considered to help reduce flood risk. This approach looks at a combination of natural processes and engineered options to help slow the flow and catch water further up the catchment so that flood peaks are reduced further downstream.

Updated consultation materials will be uploaded onto https://www.leeds.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/otley-flood-alleviation-scheme on February 25.

Regular updates about the scheme will be posted on the new Otley Flood Alleviation Scheme webpage at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/otley-flood-alleviation-scheme

Anyone with queries about the scheme should email: [email protected]