Green light for £3m Leeds flood defence study

The Kirkstall Road area of Leeds during the 2015 Boxing Day floods
The Kirkstall Road area of Leeds during the 2015 Boxing Day floods
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COUNCILLORS in Leeds have given the green light to a £3m study programme aimed at developing additional flood defences to protect the city following devastating damage caused by Storm Eva.

At today’s meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board, councillors approved a report recommending a feasibility study is carried out on extending the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme on the River Aire upstream from the city centre.

The approval will trigger the release of £3m of Environment Agency funding for Leeds to undertake evaluation work including ecological surveys and river modelling.

Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake told the meeting: “If the events of the year across the north of the country have told us anything, it’s that you can’t look at rivers in isolation, you have to look at the whole of the catchment area.” Coun Andrew Carter, leader of the Leeds Conservative Group, said: “It is crucial the city works very closely with the Environment Agency.

“ I’m really pleased to see a much greater recognition being given that engineering solutions in the city centre will not solve the problem.”

It is expected that the feasibility study will take until the end of 2017 to be completed and recommended schemes could take more than four years to implement.

The impact of Storm Eva, which hit on Boxing Day 2015, resulted in major damage in Kirkstall and other areas of Leeds. A total of 2,683 residential buildings were damaged along with 672 commercial properties.