A £45 million project to improve flood defences in the city centre has moved forward with work starting to remove a length of the Knostrop Cut.
The river footbridge at Knostrop has been taken away for refurbishment while work is now underway to remove a length of the man-made island. This involves taking away a 600 metre length of land which is approximately 48,000 cubic metres of material.
It will allow the River Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation to be merged along this length increasing the flow of water out of the city centre during a flood event.
This is an essential part of one of the largest river flood defence schemes in the country which features the introduction of innovative moveable weirs, low level embankments, terracing and riverside walls designed to protect the city centre from a one-in-75-year river flood event or less.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: “There is lots of activity to be seen with the team now moving on to the removal of Knostrop Cut. This project is essential to help avoid the problems caused by flooding so we look forward to the level of progress continuing in the months to come.”
The new flood defences will protect more than 3,000 homes and 500 businesses in the city centre as well as 300 acres of development land.
The work in the city centre follows on from a first phase which began further along the River Aire last year creating new flood defences at Woodlesford to offer a one in 200-year-flood level of protection in that area.