Environment Agency launch Newlay Weir consultation after Horsforth area of river destroyed in 2021 storm

The Environment Agency have launched a consultation regards what to do about Newlay Weir in Horsforth, which was destroyed during a storm in February 2021.

By Alex Grant
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 11:45 am

Newlay Weir is situated on the River Aire, in the lower River Aire valley, upstream of Leeds.

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As part of a strategy for ecological improvements on the River Aire, the Developing the Natural Aire (DNAire) project began construction of a Larinier fish pass along the right bank of Newlay Weir.

In June 2020, work started to construct the fish pass adjacent to the weir however during construction, in late January 2021 the region was hit by Storm Christophe. Picture: Environment Agency.

This was designed to allow passage over the weir for salmon and sea trout which migrate from the Humber Estuary to the headwaters of the River Aire.

In June 2020, work started to construct the fish pass adjacent to the weir however during construction, in late January 2021 the region was hit by Storm Christophe.

Following the storm and subsequent flooding, the weir failed and a large portion of it was washed downstream.

Initial development in the Newlay area began with the construction of a weir and goit in the 12th century to power the corn mill at Kirkstall Abbey.

The current Newlay Weir was constructed in 1690 to provide water to Kirkstall Forge Mill.

Following an independent report into the causes of the collapse, the Environment Agency is now gathering information on options to inform its decision on what actions to take at Newlay weir and the fish pass.

Since receiving this report, the Environment Agency would like to ask the local community and river users their views on the future of the weir, and the fish pass.

Members of the local community will be able to have their say on planned changes by filling in the following survey.

Where possible it is hoped that builders will be able to increase the resilience of people, property, and businesses to the risks of flooding and coastal erosion.